Money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of money obtained from criminal activity. Money launderers use a variety of methods to disguise the illegal origin of their funds and make them look like legitimate income. Money laundering is a crime in its own right, and also enables other crimes such as drug trafficking and terrorism to flourish.
Stages of Money Launderings
There are three stages of money laundering:
- Placement: Money is introduced into the financial system in a way that makes it difficult to trace its origins. This can be done by depositing it into a bank account, or by smuggling it into the country.
- Layering: The money is moved around in a series of transactions to make it harder to trace. This can involve moving money between different bank accounts, or investing it in assets such as property or shares.
- Integration: The money is finally reintroduced into the economy in a way that makes it appear to be a legitimate income. This could involve buying luxury goods or investing in businesses.
Money launderers use a variety of methods to disguise the illegal origin of their funds and make them look like legitimate income. These methods include:
- Converting cash into other currencies
- Placing money into bank accounts in different countries
- Investing money in property, shares or businesses
- Buying luxury goods such as cars or jewellery
- Donating money to charity
What are the types of Money laundering?
There are three types of Money laundering:
- Money Laundering through Businesses
- Money laundering through Financial Institutions
- Money laundering through the Criminal Justice System
What is an example of Money Laundering?
An example of money laundering could be a drug trafficker who buys a luxury car with cash. The drug trafficker has obtained the cash from illegal activity, but by using it to purchase a legitimate asset, they are disguising the origins of the money. Money laundering can also be done through more complex methods, such as investing in businesses or real Estate.
What is the difference between Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing?
While both Money laundering and terrorist financing are crimes, there is a key difference between the two. Money laundering is the process of disguising the origins of money obtained from criminal activity, while terrorist financing is the process of providing financial support to terrorist organisations. Money laundering may be used to finance terrorism, but it is not always the case.