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Gordian knot: A panoramic perspective on stemming illicit financial flows from Africa

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Pushing this strand of research brings a certain feeling of trepidation. It comes from recognizing that by openly elaborating on how to catch or deter a criminal, you thereby confer an undue advantage on the criminal through forewarning.

Obtaining a head start in the race to prevail, they (criminals) are able to consider and possibly devise an effective circumvention strategy. But if the criminal must not see it coming then, what aspects of how to stop a thief shall we and shall we not reveal or discuss openly amongst all? There are no easy answers to the conundrum. For instance, one has to consider the signaling value of openly engaging in discussions on how to stop criminal activities and then, balance that benefit against the paradox of empowerment. The balancing act is important because some aspects of the preventive remedies can unintentionally enable the very thing which society is striving to prevent.

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