The Scale and Impacts of Money Laundering

The Scale and Impacts of Money Laundering

Brigitte Unger

The book gives an interdisciplinary overview of the state-of-the-art of money laundering as well as describing the legal problems of defining and fighting money laundering. It then goes on to present a number of economic models designed to measure money laundering and applies these to measuring the size of laundering in The Netherlands and Australia. The book also gives an overview of techniques and potential effects of money laundering identified and measured so far in the literature. It adds to this debate by calculating the effects of laundering on crime and economic growth.

Chapter 2: Defining Money Laundering with Elena Madalina Busuioc

Brigitte Unger

Subjects: economics and finance, economic crime and corruption, money and banking, law - academic, corruption and economic crime


2. Defining Money Laundering Predicate Offences – The Achilles’ Heel of Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Elena Madalina Busuioc (Utrecht School of Governance) 2.1. INTRODUCTION Money laundering is essentially the process of disguising the unlawful source of criminally derived proceeds to make them appear legal. Anti-money laundering legislation is aimed at ensuring that ‘crime does not pay’ by preventing the offender from reaping the fruits of the crime. Successful money laundering makes the crime pay off and thus represents an incentive for the commission of further crimes. Therefore, anti-money laundering legislation is not only instrumental in addressing the crime of money laundering but also can be an indispensable mechanism for fighting profit-oriented crime at large. As Ringguth pointedly observes, ‘if you can take the profit motive out of acquisitive crime, then that is a positive way of tackling criminality generally’ (Ringguth, 2002). However, in order to achieve the aims above, anti-money laundering measures need to be watertight and comprehensive. This chapter discusses one of the weaker points of anti-money laundering legal instruments, relating to the way money laundering is defined. With that aim in mind, first of all, a brief overview will be provided on how the conceptualization of money laundering has evolved during the past few years through a significant widening of its scope. Secondly, one of the remaining legal challenges will be pointed out and some of its negative side effects on the fight against money laundering at both the domestic and the international level will be addressed. Thirdly, some of...

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