OPINION

Dirty cash a threat to democracy

The long dark shadow of the numerous and various corruption scandals that have been plaguing the country also overlaps with the similarly ominous shadow cast by organized crime networks in a very crucial area: that of money. The money that comes in from the shady deals between politicians and business interests as well as the proceeds of direct criminal activity are all laundered in the same huge machine to prepare it for recirculation as clean cash or in investments. However, it is exactly this money – i.e. the money that comes from all sorts of less-than-legal activities, such as bribes, blackmail, kickbacks, protection rackets and even killings – that undermines the democracy of the country and the very fabric of society. Unless we succeed in wiping the soil and grime off the dirty money, if we fail to clean the stench of criminality off the cash coming from graft and corruption as well as from organized crime, then it will wipe us out first. In fact, it has already won a number of key battles.