Follow the Money 1, Tess 0

After my somewhat critical review of Follow the Money season three in Punk Noir magazine the other day, I’m left eating my rather stylish hat.

Because no sooner was the ink dry on my blog post than I came across this little piece on the BBC News website, which could have been lifted word for word from the Follow the Money script.

In this case, the Metropolitan Police, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Financial Conduct Authority are joining forces to investigate Bureaux de Change and currency transfer businesses in London that are suspected of laundering money made through the illegal drugs trade. Almost exactly the model young punk Nicky was aiming to set up in Copenhagen in Follow the Money.

It’s probably pure coincidence, but I can’t help wondering if someone high up in one of those organisations watched the series and said ‘hey, guys, what if that’s happening here?’. Either that, or the writers at Follow the Money use the occasional crystal ball.

Either way, the storyline was obviously hugely well-researched and relevant to today’s criminal enterprises. I’m impressed with the authenticity, but I still think it would have made even better drama if the series had focussed on the crime rather than the various characters’ personal lives. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I? Anything to save having to eat that hat…

Money laundering

Some of you may remember my daft little flash ficlet ‘Money Laundering’, which appeared on the site and put a new, er, spin on the subject of laundering cash.  Well, I’ve just heard that it’s all set to feature in their first ever anthology, chosen from the highest rated stories on the site!

I’m absolutely delighted about this, and very grateful to everyone who voted for the story as you’ve helped to make this happen.  I’ll post updates as soon as I know where/when/how the anthology will be published.  In the meantime, why not pop over to 81Words and check out some of their other stories, all of which are exactly 81 words long…

A story – in 81 words

I’ve had a tiny story published on the 81Words website, where the point is to tell a tale in exactly 81 words. Not a word more, not a word less.

It’s surprisingly difficult – you wouldn’t believe the number of times I thought I’d cracked it, only to find I’d written 79… or 83. However, I love a challenge so I persevered, and the end result is a daft little piece called ‘Money Laundering’. Rather improbably, this was inspired by a real news story from Birmingham, where a large bag of money was found floating in a canal. However, the character of Carl is entirely my own invention. Hopefully nobody could actually be that stupid!

You can find the story here, and if anyone would like to vote for it on the site I’ll be your friend forever, or at the very least be very grateful.

Wet wadge

Yet another strange little news story caught my eye – this tale of a dog-walker finding £60,000 floating in his local canal.

It’s not finding the money that’s so odd, it’s how it got there in the first place. The most logical answer is that someone chucked the proceeds of a crime away to save themselves being caught red-handed with the loot. But I can’t help feeling that some hapless new recruit to a local gang took his boss’s instruction to ‘launder the money’ a little too literally.

“There you go, boss, all nice and squeaky clean for you. I even threw in some Ariel while I was at it.”

Sadly, much of the money is too badly waterlogged to be recoverable. Whoever chose such a damp hiding place must be kicking themselves they didn’t at least wrap it in something waterproof first.

On a different note, heavens – I sounded grumpy yesterday. Sorry about that. I do, however, have a good excuse because by bedtime I’d developed a raging sore throat, aches and sneezing fits. It’s early in the year for the annual dose of flu, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped this particular bug. *sniff* I’ll be back once I’ve raided the medicine cabinet…