The gripping and untold story of how Global Witness have uncovered a worldwide network of highly organized criminality, kleptocracy and corruption and exposed the people behind it
Arms trafficking, offshore accounts and luxury property deals. Super-yachts, private jets and super-car collections. Blood diamonds, suspect oil deals, deforestation and murder. This is the world of Global Witness.
What began as three friends wanting to end the decades-long civil war in far-away Cambodia is now an award-winning organization, Global Witness, dedicated to rooting out worldwide corruption. VERY BAD PEOPLE is co-founder Patrick Alley's revealing inside track on a breath-taking catalogue of modern super-crimes - and the 'shadow network' that enables them.
From their first campaign, exposing how the illegal timber trade funded the genocidal Khmer Rouge, to alerting the world to blood diamonds fuelling war across Africa, Global Witness unravel crooked deals of labyrinthine complexity and encounter well-known corporations whose operations are no less criminal than the Mafia. This network of lawyers, bankers and real estate agents help park dirty money in London, New York, or in offshore accounts, safe from prying eyes.
This book is about following the money, going undercover in the world’s most dangerous places, and bringing down the people behind the crimes.
Case by case we see maverick investigators pitched against warlords, grifters and super-villains who bear every resemblance to The Night Manager's Richard Roper. One dictator's son spent $700 million in just four years on his luxury lifestyle.
Patrick Alley's book is a brilliant, authoritative and fearless investigation into the darkest workings of our world - and an inspiration to all of us who want to fight back.
"The story told in this book of three youthful idealists who go from eating cold baked beans in a drafty London flat to the Thai-Cambodian border where they posed as traders in illegally felled timber is simply riveting. Don't miss it." - Misha Glenny, Author of McMafia
"Very Bad People shines a light on the real life dramas that are truly more alarming than the pages of fiction - it is a shocking, important and page-turning book that gives a unique insight into a hidden world of criminality, and into the shadow networks that really run our world." - Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman Participant Media, Skoll Foundation
"Part true crime tale, part investigative procedural, this is the account of the brilliant and necessary superheroes of Global Witness, whose superpower is the truth." - Edward Zwick, Director of Blood Diamond
"Stories such as those you will read here are more usually found in the pages of thrillers, but these stories are frighteningly and unfortunately true. Corruption is one of the greatest enemies of democracy, to win the fight we need champions like Global Witness." - George Soros
"Very Bad People reads like a non-stop high-speed chase as our fighters against corruption hunt down a litany of criminals and con-men, some on the fringes of our society, some embedded high up within it. It's a great story and an important one." - David Farr, Screenwriter, The Night Manager
"Global Witness are fearless." - Gordon Roddick, Campaigner and Co-Founder of the Body Shop
About the Author
Patrick Alley is one of the three founders of Global Witness, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to routing out corruption and environmental abuse around the world. Founded in 1995, Global Witness has since become a global leader in its field, with Patrick taking part in over 50 field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activities. Patrick conceived several of Global Witness's campaigns and focusses on corruption, conflict resources, forests and land, and environmental defenders. He is a board director of Global Witness and is involved in the organization’s strategic leadership. Alongside his two co-founders, Patrick received the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
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