Making Transparency Possible 2020 - Follow the money

Money laundering and tax avoidance and evasion contribute to crime and unacceptably high levels of global wealth inequality. At "Making Transparency Possible" bankers, economists, investigative journalists, whistle-blowers and authorities and academics meet to discuss what can be done to make finance more transparent. 

Attendants will learn about the investigations of money laundering at Den Danske Bank and Swedbank, as well as methodologies to reveal Icelandic corruption related to fisheries in Namibia. 

Among the keynote speakers are Bradley Birkenfeld, a former international banker and whistle-blower. He obtained the largest reward ever given to an individual whistle-blower for reporting IRS Tax Fraud, and William Bourdon a lawyer who has defended whistle-blowers related to cases such as the Lux Leaks and Football Leaks.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this event will be a digital conference with online attendance.
The conference is free of charge and open for all public.

Register for the conference here

Program
4th Making Transparency Possible Conference - Follow the money
October 21 2020
09:30 AM - 02:07 PM (GMT+2)

Live streaming from Oslo Metropolitan University

Start: 09:30
End: 09:33
Duration: 3min

Welcome by Roy Krøvel, OsloMet

Start: 09:33
End: 09:53
Duration: 20min

Session 1: The importance of whistle-blowers in exposing money laundering

Bradley C. Birkenfeld: “The End of Swiss Secrets”

Bradley C. Birkenfeld is an American retired investment professional and the most significant financial whistle-blower in history. He is the author of Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy. As an international private banker he exposed how UBS, the world’s largest bank, helped ultra-wealthy Americans commit billions in tax fraud.

Start: 09:53
End: 10:13
Duration: 20min

Jóhannes Stefánsson: “The Icelandic whistle-blower”
(Samherji – DnB- Namibia)

Jóhannes Stefánsson is the Icelandic financial whistle blower and former Managing Director of Samherji's operation in Namibia

From 2014 he started to strongly suspect that the company he worked for was not going to contribute to the people of Namibia nor to Africa. Stefánsson left the company in 2016 and through 30 000 documents leaked to Wikileaks he exposed that Samherji had been channelling millions through the Norwegian bank DnB to accounts in Dubai and the Marshall Islands to Namibian  service to access fishing quotas in the country. The leak is known as “The Fishrot Files” and the documents showed that Samherji paid around 10 million USD in bribes to several Namibian officials and funnelled money through the Norwegian bank DnB to accounts in Dubai and the Marshall Islands. 

Start: 10:13
End: 10:28
Duration: 15min

Interview by Hege Moe Eriksen, journalist, NRK

Start: 10:28
End: 10:35
Duration: 7min

Break

Start: 10:35
End: 10:55
Duration: 20min

William Bourdon: “The Signal network”

William Bourdon is a lawyer of the Paris Bar and an internationally engaged activist for the defence of Human Rights. His main areas of activity are criminal law, including criminal business law and special criminal law, business law, including litigation and commercial contracts in France and abroad, media law, including the right of the press and cinema law and public and private international law. He frequently writes articles on international criminal and civil justice, human rights, criminal law, globalization, issues of terrorism, the fight against corruption, whistle-blowers, ecological and economic crimes and participate in conference and activities within France and globally.

Start: 10:55
End: 11:05
Duration: 10min

Interview by Hege Moe Eriksen, journalist, NRK

Start: 11:05
End: 11:15
Duration: 10min

Break

Start: 11:15
End: 12:15
Duration: 60min

Session 2: Investigative journalism exposing money laundering

The role of the Nordic banks in money laundering.
And the importance of investigative journalism in exposing it.

Start: 11:15
End: 11:30
Duration: 15min

Ingi Freyr Vilhjálmson: "Gentlemen, we are in business": How the Norwegian DNB bank was used in Namibia's most notorious corruption case"

Ingi F. Vilhjálmsson is an Icelandic journalist who works for a news magazine called Stundin. In November last year he participated in the publication of a story, along with Wikileaks, the Icelandic TV-program Kveikur and Al Jazeera,  about the Icelandic fishing company Samherji´s payments of bribes to politicians and officials in Namibia to secure it access to fishing quotas. One of the threads of the story was how Samherji used its bank accounts in the Norwegian bank DNB to pay these bribes.

Start: 11:30
End: 11:45
Duration: 15min

Simon Bendtsen: "Uncovering the Danske Bank money laundering scandal"

Simon Bendtsen is a Danish editor and journalist with the newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Together with two colleagues Bendtsen exposed the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. The three Berlingske-reporters have received several awards for the investigation of the money laundering scandal and last year they published the book "Beskidte milliarder" (Dirty Billions). The bank is now being investigated by authorities in several countries for channeling 234 billion dollars through an affiliate in Estonia. 

Start: 11:45
End: 12:00
Duration: 15min

Linda Larsson Kakuli and Axel Humlesjö: "Yanukovich, Manafort and Russian oligarchs"

Linda Larsson Kakuli and Axel Gordh Humlesjö are part of the investigative team at SVT who revealed the Swedbank money laundering scandal. The bank is investigated for channeling around 150 billion Euros through affiliates in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The stock fell over 25 percent following the scandal and last year the CEO and Director of the board was forced to resign. Kakuli and Humlesjö will focus on how they identified the powerful people behind the secret accounts. 

Linda Larsson Kakuli is a multiple award-winning computer journalist and researcher at SVT in Sweden. She has worked with some of the major revelations of recent years, including the Panama and Paradise leaks and most recently the revelations about suspected money laundering in Swedbank and SEB.

 Axel Gordh Humlesjö is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning  investigative reporter at the Swedish public broadcaster - SVT. He specializes in organized crime, corruption and digital research. In 2018 he led a international group of reporters in an investigation of the murder of two UN experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His latest project exposed systematic money laundering from Russia through Swedbank, Scandinavia's largest bank.

Start: 12:00
End: 12:10
Duration: 10min

Interview by Hege Moe Eriksen, journalist, NRK

Start: 12:10
End: 12:40
Duration: 30min

Lunch break

Start: 12:40
End: 13:00
Duration: 20min

Session 3: Panel: Algorithms and artificial intelligence. Can we trust them to reveal illicit financial flows?

We lean on digitalization, algorithms and artificial intelligence. How are the red flags being produced? Which bias does the algorithms have? Whose responsibility is it if an algorithm fails?


Lars Erik Bolstad: “Detect money laundering using machine learning?”

Lars Erik Bolstad is a data scientist in the department of anti-money laundering in DNB, where he works with machine learning to detect suspicious behavior in transaction data. Lars Erik graduated from NTH / Universitât Karlsruhe with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence. Before his current position in DNB he worked more than 20 years with browser technology in Opera Software and Netscape.

Anis Yazidi: “The bias of algorithms?” 

Anis Yazidi is leading the applied artificial intelligence research group at OsloMet. He has published over 130 research articles and is among the top 50 most publishing researchers in Norway according to the most recent survey by forskerforum. He has received several awards at international conferences. He is an IEEE senior member and editor of various international journals.

Julie Odden: "How can banks better fight money laundering?"

Julie Odden is an experienced compliance specialist with a passion for innovation and technological disruption. Julie has worked within several areas of compliance in different industries. For the past years she has helped build the AML and anti financial crime organization in Sbanken, one of Norway’s leading challenger banks.

Start: 13:00
End: 13:15
Duration: 15min

Live Q & A.
Moderated via Zoom chat.

Start: 13:15
End: 13:55
Duration: 40min

Session 4: How to reveal financial crime?

Start: 13:15
End: 13:25
Duration: 10min

Pål Kulø Lønseth: “How to reveal financial crime?” 

Pål Lønseth is Director of ØKOKRIM, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime. Pål has extensive experience in investigations on organized and financial crimes and contract compliance issues. He has been Deputy Minister in the ministry of Justice, Senior Public Prosecutor, Judge and Legal advisor in a UN-project in Afghanistan.

Start: 13:25
End: 13:35
Duration: 10min

Nicholas Lord:  «The elusiveness of illicit finance in a globalised economy: some criminological reflections’ 

Nicholas Lord is a Professor of Criminology. He joined the University of Manchester in September 2013 and teaches in the areas of white-collar and corporate crimes, financial and economic crimes, serious and organized crimes, and criminological research. Nicholas has primary research interests in white-collar and corporate crimes of a financial and economic nature, such as fraud, corruption and bribery, as well as the organization of serious crimes for financial gain, such as 'organized crime' and food fraud.

Start: 13:35
End: 13:45
Duration: 10min

Kalle Moene: “Which changes happens after revelations?”

Kalle Moene is a Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Oslo. He is the head ESOP (a center for the study of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance). His research interest is the study of inequality in income and wealth in rich and poor countries. A core interest is the role of economic development, institutions, unions and welfare states. He was also a lead author in the International Panel of Social Progress.  He has published widely in international journals and received the Fritjof Nansen Prize for excellent research in 2016.

Start: 13:45
End: 13:55
Duration: 10min

Tina Søreide: “White washing”

Tina Søreide is Professor of Law and Economics. Her research is focused on corruption, governance, markets and development, currently with an emphasis on law enforcement. She was previously employed by the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen (UiB), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the World Bank, Washington DC. At NHH, she teaches courses in business ethics, corruption and governance, coordinates a student mobility program in anti-corruption with schools in Ukraine and Georgia, and organizes a research program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. 

Start: 13:55
End: 14:05
Duration: 10min

Live Q & A.
Moderated via Zoom chat.

Start: 14:05
End: 14:07
Duration: 2min

Acknowledgements and closing of conference

Register for the conference here

Speakers

  • Bradley C. Birkenfeld is an American retired investment professional and the most significant financial whistle-blower in history. He is the author of Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy. As an international private banker he exposed how UBS, the world’s largest bank, helped ultra-wealthy Americans commit billions in tax fraud.

  • Jóhannes Stefánsson is the Icelandic financial whistle blower and former managing director for the Namibian fishing companies owned by Samherji. From 2014 he started to strongly suspect that the company he worked for was not going to contribute to the people of Namibia nor to Africa. Stefánsson left the company in 2016 and through 30 000 documents leaked to Wikileaks he exposed that Samherji had been channelling millions through the Norwegian bank DnB to accounts in Dubai and the Marshall Islands to Namibian  service to access fishing quotas in the country. The leak is known as “The Fishrot Files” and the documents showed that Samherji paid around 10 million USD in bribes to several Namibian officials and funnelled money through the Norwegian bank DnB to accounts in Dubai and the Marshall Islands. 

  • William Bourdon is a lawyer of the Paris Bar and an internationally engaged activist for the defense of Human Rights. His main areas of activity are criminal law, including criminal business law and special criminal law, business law, including litigation and commercial contracts in France and abroad, media law, including the right of the press and cinema law and public and private international law. He frequently writes articles on international criminal and civil justice, human rights, criminal law, globalization, issues of terrorism, the fight against corruption, whistleblowers, ecological and economic crimes and particiapte in conference and activities withing France and globally.

  • Ingi F. Vilhjálmsson is an Icelandic journalist who works for a news magazine called Stundin. In November last year he participated in the publication of a story, along with Wikileaks, the Icelandic TV-program Kveikur and Al Jazeera,  about the Icelandic fishing company Samherji´s payments of bribes to politicians and officials in Namibia to secure it access to fishing quotas. One of the threads of the story was how Samherji used its bank accounts in the Norwegian bank DNB to pay these bribes.

  • Linda Larsson Kakuli is a multiple award-winning computer journalist and researcher at SVT in Sweden. She has worked with some of the major revelations of recent years, including the Panama and Paradise leaks and most recently the revelations about suspected money laundering in Swedbank and SEB.

  • Axel Gordh Humlesjö is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning  investigative reporter at the Swedish public broadcaster - SVT. He specializes in organized crime, corruption and digital research. In 2018 he led a international group of reporters in an investigation of the murder of two UN experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His latest project exposed systematic money laundering from Russia through Swedbank, Scandinavia's largest bank. 

  • Simon Bendtsen is a Danish editor and journalist with the newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Together with two colleagues Bendtsen exposed the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. The three Berlingske-reporters have received several awards for the investigation of the money laundering scandal and last year they published the book "Beskidte milliarder" (Dirty Billions). The bank is now being investigated by authorities in several countries for channeling 234 billion dollars through an affiliate in Estonia. 

  • Nicholas Lord is a Professor of Criminology. He joined the University of Manchester in September 2013 and teaches in the areas of white-collar and corporate crimes, financial and economic crimes, serious and organized crimes, and criminological research. Nicholas has primary research interests in white-collar and corporate crimes of a financial and economic nature, such as fraud, corruption and bribery, as well as the organization of serious crimes for financial gain, such as 'organized crime' and food fraud.

  • Tina Søreide is Professor of Law and Economics. Her research is focused on corruption, governance, markets and development, currently with an emphasis on law enforcement. She was previously employed by the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen (UiB), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the World Bank, Washington DC. At NHH, she teaches courses in business ethics, corruption and governance, coordinates a student mobility program in anti-corruption with schools in Ukraine and Georgia, and organizes a research program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. 

  • Kalle Moene is a Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Oslo. He is the head ESOP (a center for the study of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance). His research interest is the study of inequality in income and wealth in rich and poor countries. A core interest is the role of economic development, institutions, unions and welfare states. He was also a lead author in the International Panel of Social Progress.  He has published widely in international journals and received the Fritjof Nansen Prize for excellent research in 2016.

  • Pål Kulø Lønseth is Director of ØKOKRIM, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime. Pål has extensive experience in investigations on organized and financial crimes and contract compliance issues. He has been Deputy Minister in the ministry of Justice, Senior Public Prosecutor, Judge and Legal advisor in a UN-project in Afghanistan.

  • Anis Yazidi is leading the applied artificial intelligence research group at OsloMet. He has published over 130 research articles and is among the top 50 most publishing researchers in Norway according to the most recent survey by forskerforum. He has received several awards at international conferences. He is an IEEE senior member and editor of various international journals.

  • Lars Erik Bolstad is a data scientist in the department of anti-money laundering in DNB, where he works with machine learning to detect suspicious behavior in transaction data. Lars Erik graduated from NTH / Universitât Karlsruhe with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence. Before his current position in DNB he worked more than 20 years with browser technology in Opera Software and Netscape.

  • Julie Odden is an experienced legal and compliance specialist with a passion for innovation and technological disruption.

    Julie has worked within several areas of compliance in different industries. For the past years she has helped build the AML and anti financial crime organization in Sbanken, one of Norway’s leading challenger banks.

  • Hege Moe Eriksen is a foreign correspondent for NRK. Since 2014, she has been the host of the TV program NRK Urix.

    Register for the conference here