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British Shells and the Beirut Blast

What do OFAC-sanctioned individuals, a network of British shell companies, and a Moldovan-flagged ship have in common? They are all linked to the 2020 explosion in Beirut that killed hundreds and left thousands more homeless.

The explosion in Beirut was allegedly the largest non-nuclear explosion in history. It has since emerged that the cause of the explosion was Ammonium Nitrate owned by a “dormant” UK company. Moreover, this company has strong ties to other UK companies, which are themselves linked to sanctioned individuals operating in former ISIS-controlled territories in Syria. One of whom was sanctioned for attempting to buy Ammonium Nitrate.

Join journalist and co-host of the podcast The Dark Money Files, Graham Borrow, as he lays out the fascinating investigation that unearthed a truly international web of hidden companies and bad actors.

Duration: 75 minutes

Speakers: Graham Barrow, Director, The Dark Money Files Limited

Moderator: Natasha Bright, Reporter, ACSS

CSS Credits: 1

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021

Time: 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM New York (EST)

02:00 PM – 03:15 PM London (GMT)

03:00 PM – 04:15 PM Amsterdam (CET)

Attendees will learn about:

  • The complexities of shell company ownership
  • How difficult it can be to decipher ultimate beneficial owners
  • The vital role that sanctions compliance officers play in protecting the international community

Event Registration

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Graham Barrow


The Dark Money Files Limited

Graham has worked in financial services for the past twenty years, latterly providing subject matter expertise to a number of high profile banks in relation to their financial crime control frameworks.

He also works closely with a large number of investigative journalists helping them to identify and write about organised crime and corruption including both the FT and Berlingske (Danish newspaper) on the Danske Bank scandal and the ICIJ on the FinCEN Files.

Graham regularly speaks at in-house and public events to raise awareness of the close links between financial crime and the organised criminal gangs and corrupt individuals who are responsible for so much of the dirty money entering the financial system.

He also works with a number of NGOs (Global Witness, Corruption Watch, Transparency International) to help advocate for changes in policy at both a national and international level.

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