Georrge Clooney. Picture: YOUTUBE
Georrge Clooney. Picture: YOUTUBE

Actor George Clooney has teamed up with global financial data provider Refinitiv to prevent Africa’s war criminals from abusing the international financial system by preventing them from laundering and hiding the proceeds of crimes that are often the result of violence.

Refinitiv is a company that possesses some of the largest pools of data used by the global financial system, private sector companies and governments to undertake due diligence. The Sentry is a strategic partner of the Clooney Foundation for Justice that specialises in identifying and tracking dirty money associated with Africa’s war criminals. Their partnership was announced on Thursday.

“To help prevent future mass atrocities, the public and private sector must target the financial infrastructure enabling armed violence and grave human rights abuse. As a pioneer in using data and technology to combat financial crime, we welcome Refinitiv’s expertise and global reach in the fight against war criminals and war profiteers,” said Megha Swamy, deputy director of illicit finance policy at The Sentry.

The Sentry was co-founded by Clooney and John Prendergast and employs a variety of techniques to “track and analyse how armed conflict and atrocities are financed, sustained, and monetised”. It will pass on data it collects on the illicit flows connected with Africa’s war criminals and transnational war profiteers to Refinitiv for further processing.

From there it will ultimately enhance the information provided through Refinitiv’s World Check product that is used by the group’s more than 40,000 clients around the world to undertake a range of risk assessments.

“We are a data company that many institutions use for conducting all sorts of due diligence. But in many parts of the world, it is difficult to get good data. So we will ingest, organise and analyse the data The Sentry provides us with and ultimately makes this available to our clients,” said Che Sidanius, head of financial crime regulation and industry affairs at Refinitiv.

Sentry’s data will be augmented by the work of World Check’s 450 researchers who speak a combined 65 languages and pool and compile data that besides financial and reputational risk criteria, includes terror financing, wildlife trafficking, and environmental and human rights supply chain due diligence. 

The ultimate objective is to prevent war criminals from doing business with legitimate institutions and preclude them from using the global financial system to hide, distribute and invest the proceeds of heinous crimes.

The two organisations will also co-operate in producing papers on the subject that can be used by the media and nongovernmental organisations to raise awareness, as well as for policy advocacy.

thompsonw@businesslive.co.za 

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