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BACKGROUND In 2015, Deutsche Bank performed an investigation of its own internal policies, meant to combat money laundering and financial crime. It found ‘Systemic Failures’ in this regard. Between 2011 and 2015, these ‘systemic failures’ allowed over $10 billion dollars to leave Russia, through Deutsche Bank. This was done through MIRROR TRADING MIRROR TRADING IGOR VOLKOV, BROKER AT DEUTSCHE BANK TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OF STOCK FROM COMPANY A TO COMPANY B BUY $10M WORTH OF STOCK IN RUBLES, FOR RUSSIAN COMPANY A REPEAT EVERY SINGLE DAY. SELL THE STOCK FOR $,£, OR € FROM OFFSHORE COMPANY B COMPANY A AND B HAVE THE SAME OWNER! WHY? TO GET MONEY OUT OF RUSSIA Roubles Stock WHO CARES? Dollars Sterling Euros Lots of the money is suspected to belong to wealthy Russians who are under sanction from the US government for financial crimes, and crimes relating to the Ukraine. ED CAESAR Studied English at Edinburgh University. Started in work experience at The Independent newspaper, moved onto features writing for The Sunday Times. Now full-time freelance, on the back of a book deal. HOW DID THE INVESTIGATION BEGIN? Ed spoke with a source at Deutsche Bank who he already knew. The story was already known, it had been revealed in an Deutsche Bank internal investigation into their own practices. Wanted to tell ‘A deeper story, in a more granular way’ Pitched it as ‘a process story’. A way of making an internal banking report more accessible to non-financial audience. Asking HOW is the money getting here? Everyone knows (or believes) that there is shady money flowing into London, but HOW is it actually getting there? TIME AND COST A SEVEN MONTH INVESTIGATION Reporting from three countries: Moscow Atlanta, New York London Company Record Searches in the British Virgin islands and Cyprus, to identify the companies that were buying and selling the stock SOURCES Started with one previously known source. Start ‘like a child. You don’t know anything and you just build up a picture’. Drew a diagram on a piece of paper of the make-up of the Moscow desk and then used LinkedIn, email, phone, WhatsApp to fill in the gaps NO PGP/PRIVACY – WhatsApp recommended. Common sense – flattery – soft approach – don’t talk about on/off the record. ‘Make it easy to say yes’ A two pronged approach – ask one source to introduce you to another before making contact. Print outs, delivered in person Finished with 14 ex-DB employees, most of them anonymous DANIEL ZALEWSKI, FEATURES EDITOR AT THE NEW YORKER Good working relationship already established. Kept in regular contact, mainly through email and phone, looking at potential trips to be made, directions to explore. ‘One of the best, if not the best, story editors in the world.’ ‘Such a good sense of how stories should flow, what should follow what’ GAPS/DIFFICULTIES IN THE INVESTIGATION Tim Wiswell, American head of the DB Moscow desk Fired from DB, whereabouts currently unknown, last seen in Indonesia. Multiple emails, phone calls, contact through friends, paid a local journalist to look for him. Wiswell knew that Caesar was looking for him, but avoided any contact. A colleague in the article refers to him as ‘finance’s Edward Snowden’ (unfair on Snowden perhaps!) GAPS/DIFFICULTIES IN THE INVESTIGATION What else would have benefited the story? Information of how high the practice went Corruption at higher levels The piece was criticised in Bloomberg for not explaining how the ownership of the stocks was transferred between companies. Caesar defended this on the grounds that it was technical, boring and unproblematic (and was in fact briefly addressed in the piece) IMPACT OF THE STORY Got a lot of interest in Russia. Recirculated and reported on a lot in the Russian press. Bloomberg wrote a very similar story, released on Monday October 3, as more of a profile piece on Tim Wiswell – with no new information offered! Written by a threeperson team, they also failed to track Wiswell down. ED CAESAR’S PROCESS + TIPS Has no specific topics that he covers – other people think he’s crazy Reads and speaks to a lot of people Get up to speed as quickly as possible on your subject Flatter your sources – ‘you know everything, I know nothing’ Found this investigation relatively straightforward but has encountered difficulties in others (Witanhurst) – keep looking, keep persevering THANK YOU ANY QUESTIONS?