From humble beginnings, Bruce Aitken embarked on a life of adventure, led by faith, fate and karma, that eventually led to him becoming one of the world’s most successful money launderers. While Bruce fell into his vocation by accident, he took to it like a duck to water and was soon the go-to man for those who did not feel the need to tell the tax authorities about every penny they had earned or were slightly cagey about exactly how they had earned the money.
This was a time when, at one point, Bruce and his colleagues, using ingenious methods, would have transported many millions of dollars-worth of notes all around the planet. His two decades of laundering vividly reflects all the excitement, glamour and sheer fun that an international jet-setting life of “laundering” money invariably imparts.
For over 30 years, Bruce mingled with a host of incredible characters straight off the pages of a Len Deighton novel. These include Hungarian born Nicholas Deak, United States citizen, and ex- secret service solider and former hero of the war in Asia who established Deak-Perera, a worldwide network of currency agents and smugglers to service a multitude of clients and characters, mainly the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as tax dodgers, ordinary folks, and plain old misfits.
Bruce also captures brilliantly the paranoia and nerve-wracking horror of his chosen lifestyle. There were so many near misses and scandals, Deak and the CIA, the Lockheed Scandal, Cessna-Milner affair in Australia, the, Nugan Hand Banking scandal, and one of the largest drug busts in US history that brought the party to an end. It was only sheer luck and quick thinking that kept him out of trouble for so long, and it can well be understand why he turned to God in later life.
When the net finally catches Bruce, via an event in Reno Nevada in 1987 that nearly cost him the rest of my life in prison, we get a first-hand insight into the nefarious activities of the United States government. “Kidnapped” in Thailand and returned to the USA against his will, the legal wrangling that could have resulted in at least two decades in prison went on for many years. Bruce’s ability to survive the seemingly endless horrors that faced him is true testament to the quality of his character and the strength that his powerful faith has imbued in him.
Concluding that every man must choose his own destiny, Bruce eventually chose the spiritual over the material. from 2004 until today, Bruce produces and hosts a popular Sunday night radio program in Hong Kong that has a phenomenal number of listeners. The “Hour of Love”, on AM 1044 Metro Plus, with a segment called “Prison Visitation On the Air”, has inspired the formation of the NGO , “Voice for Prisoners” in 2018, an important advocate for prison reform.
Bruce also published his autobiography, The Cleaner: The True Story of One of the World’s Most Successful Money Launderers, giving a unique insight into the money-laundering world of thirty odd years ago.