Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Barry Rider
Chapter 38: Money laundering offences
Modern day money laundering offences derive from three main sources. The provisions of these conventions may have direct or indirect effect depending upon the constitutional law of the signatory state. The main treaties dealing with money laundering are as follows: a. Vienna Convention, a United Nations treaty dealing with drug trafficking; b. Palermo Convention, a United Nations treaty dealing with transnational organised crime of a serious nature. An organised criminal group is defined as covering “a structured group of three or more persons”. Serious crime is defined as “punishable by a maximum deprivation of liberty of at least four years or a more serious penalty”. c. Strasbourg and Warsaw Conventions, Council of Europe treaties dealing generally with money laundering. The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) is a policy making inter-governmental body, which issues Recommendations and other guidance aimed at combating money laundering. FATF members currently represent most major financial centres in the world. Countries wanting to become FATF members must provide a written commitment at the political/Ministerial level, to include the endorsement and support of the Recommendations, which they are expected to implement in domestic legislation. Members must also agree to be monitored by way of mutual evaluations to ensure compliance with FATF Membership Criteria. The provisions in some jurisdictions might extend beyond that required under international law or expected pursuant to, for example, the FATF Recommendation. Article 3 of the Vienna Convention includes the money laundering provisions.
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