Research Handbook on Money Laundering
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Research Handbook on Money Laundering

Edited by Brigitte Unger and Daan van der Linde

Although the practice of disguising the illicit origins of money dates back thousands of years, the concept of money laundering as a multidisciplinary topic with social, economic, political and regulatory implications has only gained prominence since the 1980s. This groundbreaking volume offers original, state-of-the-art research on the current money laundering debate and provides insightful predictions and recommendations for future developments in the field.
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Chapter 16: Efforts of the UN to find out about major routes of drugs and drug money

Thomas Pietschmann


One of the key challenges for an international institution dealing with a problem is to identify its scale and to monitor the underlying trends. This should help policy makers at the national, regional and global level to identify successes and failures in their efforts to deal with the problem. The non-availability of such monitoring mechanisms is like major corporations trying to do business without any financial and cost accounting systems in place. Most people nowadays would find it difficult to imagine that large corporations could develop and follow strategies without basing their policies – inter alia – on functioning accounting systems; yet this has been the situation for decades for the authorities in most countries and for the international community at large when it came to drug control and efforts to fight money laundering. Attempts to remedy this situation at the level of the United Nations are rather new, dating back just some fifteen years when it comes to baseline drug data or some fifteen months when it comes to estimates regarding the amounts available for laundering.

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