Laundering money has been an age-old crime that has been in operation for decades. While the techniques may have changed, as have the scales and globalization of the operations, the premises remain the same.
As a business, it’s important to make sure that you’re up to date with money laundering laws in order to protect yourself from coursing the line of the law. Even if you’re going about your daily business in the right way, you maybe breaking the law unintentionally.
With this in mind, today we’re going to explore five interesting facts you may not know about money laundering, hopefully helping you to understand the industry better, or simply learning something you may not have known!
#1 – It Costs the Economy
Fed up with having to pay so much in taxes?
You could blame money laundering. Due to the nature of the industry, it’s impossible to know just how much money is laundered on a yearly basis, but the UN’s office of drugs and crime ballparks the figure around the maximum of the $2 trillion mark.
#2 – Anybody Can Launder Money
The process of laundering money is simply taking dirty money which has been stolen or acquired through an act of crime and cleaning it, so it can’t be traced back to the original crime. However, this means anybody could be involved, intentionally or otherwise.
If anybody online is offering you money or a product in some kind of exchange or you’re expected to take the money and give it to someone else, even with a friend or family member, make sure you’re asking questions.
#3 – All Kinds of Currency are Affected
Even though you may think that certain physical currencies and cash may be the only type of funds affected by laundering scams, this isn’t the case. Even popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can be laundered.
If the money has been stolen or gained illegally, then converted into Bitcoin and then withdrawn somewhere else in the world, this is still laundering money.
#4 – Lots of People are Doing It
While you may believe that laundering activities are restricted to shady organizations and gangs around the world, this isn’t the case.
In fact, in 2010, the popular Wachovia Bank was caught laundering over $150 million. Other banks like HSBC and Credit Suisse have also been accused of the crime.
#5 – Laundering is a Three Step Process
While laundering could be a complex network of steps and processes, all laundering at its core comes down to three simple steps; placement, layering, and integration.
There are multiple variations of how this work and how they are executed, depending on the operation, but when investigating a laundering operation, it will always come down to these three steps.
As you can see, laundering is a much more versatile operation that you may have first thought. When it comes to your business or personal finances, it’s so important you think about how you’re treating your money and what you’re doing with it.
Even if you’re managing small change or asking someone to handle some money, if you’re avoiding tax or you’re not sure where the money has come from, you could be laundering. If you’re ever unsure on something, always seek professional help first.
It’s true that money makes the world go around, but not all transfers are legitimate. Today, we’re going to explore five of the most interesting facts you need to know when it comes to money laundering.