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Financial crime and modern slavery: the Twitter view

Che Sidanius
Che Sidanius
Global Head of Financial Crime & Industry Affairs, Refinitiv / Chair of the Europe Chapter, Coalition to Fight Financial Crime

In the fight against financial crime and modern slavery, we engaged experts and social influencers for a live Twitter chat to mark #AntiSlaveryDay. Read their thoughts and join the conversation.

  1. Our live Twitter chat engaged experts on the subject of financial crime and modern slavery, achieving a social media reach of more than three million.
  2. The Twitter discussion, which took place on Anti-Slavery Day, followed our major report examining the true cost of financial crime.
  3. Financial Intelligence sharing, victim-centric approaches, coalitions and data analytics are key to best practice in fighting financial crime and modern slavery.

Financial crime is multi-faceted, multi-national and very often invisible, making it hard to identify, measure and combat.

Our Twitter chat — “Can the chains of modern slavery be broken?” — considered the human cost of financial crime and the role of business in disrupting and dismantling the criminal networks that cause incalculable harm around the world.

The discussion, which took place on Anti-Slavery Day, heard from child trafficking survivor Rani Hong, who is CEO of Rani’s Voice and a former UN special advisor.

Money laundering map

A number of our social influencers in Risk, Compliance and Regtech participated in the live Twitter chat, which achieved a social reach of more than three million.

Read their thoughts below, then download our recent report ‘Revealing the true cost of financial crime’ and become part of the #FightFinancialCrime conversation.

Q1: Could tougher regulation, better compliance processes, bigger penalties or improving information sharing and partnerships help to #FightFinancialCrime?


John Owens quote

  • “Blockchain/ Cryptocurrency is being used by human traffickers. We have to make sure that laws are also evolving to deal with these abuses. #BoysAreNotForSale” – Jerome Elam CEO, Trafficking in America Task Force @JeromeElam

Q2: The connection between money laundering through the financial system and human trafficking is not always clear. What more can be done to raise awareness and educate global business to #FightFinancialCrime?


Q3: Do you expect blockchain to help prevent human trafficking by creating a secure identity system?


David Doughty quote

  • “For former victims this could be a tool to protect them from others who could falsify their paperwork”. – Rani Hong, @RanisVoice
  • “#Blockchain is a sophisticated encryption system it is not the panacea to all the world’s ills — it will only help to #FightFinancialCrime & #EndModernSlavery as part of a concerted effort by governments with the political will to do so.” – David Doughty, Corporate governance expert and business mentor @daviddoughty

Q4: What can be done to better identify the source of illicit funds, derived from modern slavery, to fight financial crime?

  • “Working together with law enforcement and the corporate sector we can create better tools to track the path of illicit funds from human trafficking.” – Jerome Elam @JeromeElam
  • “Open up offshore banks and corporations to more scrutiny & ensure all #FIs are subject to regulation — illicit funds enter the system via poorly regulated organisations — they are where the effort needs to be concentrated.” David Doughty @daviddoughty

Q5: What do you think is the most effective way to halt the illicit flow of money from modern slavery into the financial system?

  • “Implement massive fines to make the ratio between risk/reward obvious.” – Mette Kirsten @Mettemoo
  • “Fine business who commit this crime and take the proceeds to help educate people on financial crimes and help restore victims’ lives.” – Rani Hong @RanisVoice
  • “Stop it at the source! Provide better protections for victims and survivors of human trafficking so they will not be terrified to testify.” – Jerome Elam @JeromeElam

Q6: What do you consider best practice in fighting financial crime and modern slavery?

  • “Financial Intelligence Units have started issuing advisories to identify activities potentially linked or leading to human trafficking. This info should help develop typologies that help regulators, banks and others understand this crime better.” – Rani Hong @RanisVoice
  • “A “victim-centric” approach that incorporates survivors into the process of creating methods and laws that attack human traffickers where they are most vulnerable.” – Jerome Elam @JeromeElam
  • “That was why we were so keen to work with Rani and her organization to draw attention to the victims. We are delighted that Rani’s Voice joined the Coalition to Fight Financial Crime.” – Che Sidanius Global Head of Financial Regulatory & Industry Affairs, @CheSidanius
  • “We must use a coalition, trust approach, harness #DataAnalytics, and measure impact. Tools need to be at the front lines, not just law enforcement to shift from reactive to proactive. Follow the money through typologies -> content classifiers -> alerting.” – Global Emancipation, @GblEmancipation

The true cost of financial crime

This is an issue that demands continued exploration and action!

Together with the World Economic Forum and Europol we founded a global coalition to promote more effective information sharing between public and private entities. The membership of the coalition is constantly expanding.

Phil Cotter, Managing Director, Risk, Refinitiv, said: “Increased collaboration is key to fighting financial crime and Rani’s passion and expertise will be invaluable as we work to bring forward innovative, high-impact solutions that help disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks that cause incalculable harm around the world.”

To learn more about this subject, visit Fighting financial crime and become part of the #FightFinancialCrime conversation.

Download our recent report ‘Revealing the true cost of financial crime’