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How the west sold out to the oligarchs

A captivating account of financial skulduggery in London reveals how far the City has fallen

By Ricardo Soares de Oliveira  
The City of London Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The City of London Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Financial Times journalist Tom Burgis’s first book, The Looting Machine, was about the worldwide networks that enable the plunder of African natural resources. Kleptopia, his follow-up, is an even more ambitious endeavour tackling the post-Cold War birth of global kleptocracy and the subterranean links it establishes between authoritarian states and the west. The story centres on ENRC, a London-listed mining company owned by three Central Asian billionaires whose wafer-thin respectability hid, corruption investigators at the UK Serious Fraud Office came to suspect, vast skulduggery. It includes enough thrills—murders, kidnappings, marriages, betrayals—to make it a captivating read. Yet Kleptopia ranges much further than Central Asia.…

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