history of money laundering What is Money Laundering Money Laundering Methods International Initiatives Future Money Laundering techniques UK Legislation Laundering Offences Contact Us

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A Brief History

Taking a look into the origins of
Money Laundering.

What is Money Laundering?

Definitions of the phrase
"money laundering".

How widespread is the Problem?
Estimate of the amount of
cash being laundered

The Money Laundering Process

The 3 stages of Money
Laundering - Placement -
Layering - Integration.

Stages of the Process

How Money Laundering Stages
are achieved.

Money Laundering Methods

Techniques used by money

How Can We Prevent It?

Some measures to prevent this

Affects on Financial Institutions

How laundering affects financial
institutions, legally and

Business Areas Prone To Money Laundering

Which businesses are targetted
by the money launderer?

UK Legislation

Which legislation in the UK covers Money Laundering.

Money Laundering Offences

What the five basic offences of Money Laundering are.

International Initiatives

Some preventative measures in place on an international level.

The Future

Future methods of Laundering cash?


Some conclusions we have made about this area of criminality.


Some recommendations on what can be done to strengthen the fight against this insidious crime.

Money Laundering - What Is Money Laundering?

If you were to conduct a survey in the streets asking the above question, the general response from most people would be that they had no idea. This typical response is one of the problems the Government has in combating this type of crime. It seems to be a victimless crime. It has none of the drama associated with a robbery or any of the fear that violent crime imprints upon people’s psyche and yet, money laundering can only take place after a predicate crime (such as a robbery or housebreaking or drug dealing) has taken place. It is the lack of information about money laundering that is available to the person on the street, which makes it an invisible problem and hence difficult to tackle.

There are various definitions available which describe the phrase ‘Money Laundering’. Article 1 of the draft European Communities (EC) Directive of March 1990 defines it as:

the conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is derived from serious crime, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or of assisting any person who is involved in committing such an offence or offences to evade the legal consequences of his action, and

the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights with respect to, or ownership of property, knowing that such property is derived from serious crime.

Another definition is:

Money laundering is the process by which large amounts of illegally obtained money (from drug trafficking, terrorist activity or other serious crimes) is given the appearance of having originated from a legitimate source.

If done successfully, it allows the criminals to maintain control over their proceeds and ultimately to provide a legitimate cover for their source of income. Money laundering plays a fundamental role in facilitating the ambitions of the drug trafficker, the terrorist, the organised criminal, the insider dealer, the tax evader as well as the many others who need to avoid the kind of attention from the authorities that sudden wealth brings from illegal activities. By engaging in this type of activity it is hoped to place the proceeds beyond the reach of any asset forfeiture laws.