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NCJ Number: 136415 Find in a Library
Title: Money Laundering: An Investigatory Perspective
Journal: Criminal Law Forum  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1991)  Pages:467-510
Author(s): D A Chaiking
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 44
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Money laundering, used to break the paper trail investigators can use to trace illicitly gotten gains, consists of hiding the existence of the money and actually "laundering" the money by concealing its source through a diversion to a legitimate enterprise.
Abstract: While there are no universal or comprehensive definitions of money laundering, legal definitions for the purpose of prosecution tend to be narrower than definitions for intelligence purposes. Laundering is often an element of other illegal activities including drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, tax evasion, or white collar crime. The risk of money laundering to legitimate business and industry consists of direct penetration as well as the indirect danger of unfair competition; in the worst case, money laundering can pervert the national economic and political system. Domestic laundering occurs through financial institutions, gambling transactions and casinos, secret purchases of assets and shares, and purchases of cash-intensive businesses. In the international arena, launderers smuggle funds offshore, agitate the funds, and then repatriate them. International electronic transfers of money provide ample opportunity for abuse. The trend of lifting exchange controls and freeing capital movements undermines efforts to control offshore money laundering. Money laundering havens and underground banking systems further simplify the criminal's work. Law enforcement efforts are helped by reports of suspicious transactions; mandatory cash transaction reporting requirements; informants and undercover operations; financial investigations; and tracing, freezing, or confiscating assets. There have been several international initiatives to combat this type of crime.
Main Term(s): Money laundering
Index Term(s): International Law Enforcement Cooperation; Investigative techniques
Note: Presented at an international workshop on "Principles and Procedures for a New Transnational Criminal Law," Society for the Reform of Criminal Law and the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg, Germany, May 21-25, 1991.
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