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Very interesting article, Stephen. Essential to shed light on the vast sums that aren't captured by resource-rich economies because of illicit and immoral practices at international and global levels. Equally important, I think, to look closely at behaviours and networks at local and national levels where illicit flows can perpetuate the hold corrupt individuals, criminal networks and even armed groups have over some aspects of the mineral sector, esp. precious materials.  The Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime and Estelle Levin Limited have analysed the gold sector in Sierra Leone (, Mongolia and the Philippines (both reports about to be published) and put together a tool kit to facilitate further analysis. 

Thanks for the read, Holger. I agree to the other practices that equally drain finance in the extractives. I have read your report co-published with the Transnational Organised Crime. It tackles a key aspect of the extractive chain: activities of armed groups particularly in the small-scale mining sector. I look forward to reading your upcoming report on Mongolia and Philippines. 

HI Stephen

I've enjoyed reading this. It always takes 2 to tango...locals politicians who often are paid to keep quiet as their people are starved to death and those big companies, as Holdger says, which take full advantage of the situation to engage in immoral practices while the whole world is watching. The closest example of this type of situation I can think of found in nature is what happens among those species of birds i.e. waxbills which are manipulated by kleptoparasites/brood parasites, such as whydahs, to take care of their young at the expense of their own. Quid faciendum to put an end to this?...Get ICC involved because what goes on is simply criminal.