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bank. The confrontation with Nickolas was clearly recorded and bore out t heir version
of events. They returned to the hostel leaving Nickolas in custody.
I never saw Nickolas again. He was found guilty of various offences and deported .
I still have the watch he left me as security. I handed it to the police and it was
returned when no owner could be found.
When the wheels of the law finally turned full circle, Ingrid and the other lenders
received their portion of the money retrieved from Nickolas. They have Rolf to thank
for that. As Rolf said: "Be streetwise. Don't fall victim to confidence tricks and scams.
Smooth talking people aren't always what they seem.".
11 Veronica's dad
My daughter, Mel, once knew a girl called Veronica (not her real name). They
met at uni and shared a student flat together. One weekend, Mel went to stay
with Veronica's folks. They lived in a posh part of town and had a beautiful
Mel got on well with them. Dad was always joking and telling tales. But a dark
cloud hung over him. He had competitors who were jealous of his success and
determined to wreck his business. That weekend, one of his nightclubs was
firebombed and two of his laundrettes were trashed.
I had problems reconciling nightclubs with laundrettes. The hostel laundrette gave
me endless trouble and I could think of no good reason why a nightclub owner would
want a string of them. A malicious thought entered my head. Perhaps the laundrettes
were laundering money. I put the idea to Mel and she was horrified. Veronica's dad
couldn't possibly be doing anything like that.
At this stage, I need to say a few words about money laundering. It's something I
didn't give much thought to as an academic and my work with the Australian
Government didn't expose me to its complexities. Money laundering is what happens
when dirty money from illegal operations is fed down one channel and made to
reappear, lily white, at the other end. There are many ways of doing it and the thought
of dirty money being laundered in a laundrette was too good to miss.
I made the money laundering rema rk as a joke and soon forgot about it. Mel didn't.
Veronica was a nice girl but that didn't mean her amusing father wasn't up to tricks that
ran foul of the law. Mel made enquiries and learnt he was facing criminal charges,
which was very distressing fo r Veronica. I don't know what her dad was doing and
didn't follow the case. Maybe he was using laundrettes to launder money. That could
have appealed to his sense of humour.