“Yes, We Have Leverage”: U.S. and International Community Have Tools at Hand to Stop Violent Kleptocrats
Enough Project policy report details “playbook” of tools available to policymakers to address corrupt elites, intractable conflicts in Africa A policy report published today by the Enough Project details how the international community, and in particular the United States, can exert powerful leverage to impact the calculations, behavior, and material position of violent kleptocratic […]
Yes, We Have Leverage: A Playbook for Immediate and Long-Term Financial Pressures to Address Violent Kleptocracies in East and Central Africa
This policy brief lays out four sets of tools that can form a playbook to deal with violent kleptocracies in East and Central Africa.
Almost a year ago, the UK government convened a global summit to commit to fighting corruption. The final communiqué from the governments involved summed up their historic intentions: “We want to send a clear signal to the corrupt that they will face consequences internationally. We want to make it harder for them to travel and do business in our countries.”
Corruption and money laundering go hand in hand. Money laundering is the effort to legitimize wealth obtained through the commission of a crime, often known as a “predicate offense.” Fraud, theft, bribery, and other acts associated with corruption are considered to be predicate offenses in most jurisdictions. A wide range of anti-money laundering provisions have come into force over the past century that can be used to combat corruption. However, numerous loopholes that remain in place allow ill-gotten gains to enter the United States with ease and prevent efforts aimed at tracing and seizing the proceeds of corruption.
Sanctions are well-suited to countering violent kleptocracies because of their ability to impact the target regime’s wealth. Sanctions can alter kleptocrats’ problematic incentive structures, which favor continued conflict over peace due to the prospect of financial gain from war. To be most effective, however, sanctions must be strategic in both design and implementation.