Billy's Money Laundering Information WebsiteMoney Laundering is a World-wide problem

Billy's Home Page | A Brief History | What is Money Laundering? | How Big is the Problem? | The Money Laundering Process | Stages of the Process | Money Laundering Methods | How Can We Prevent It? | Effects on Financial Institutions | Business Areas Prone To Money Laundering | UK Legislation | Money Laundering Offences | International Initiatives | The Future | Conclusions | Recommendations 

Money Launderers tool bag
Money Laundering - What Is Money Laundering?

by Billy Steel

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A Brief History
Here is a dig into the origins of Money Laundering and how it came about.

What is Money Laundering?
Definitions of the phrase "money laundering".

How Big is the Problem?
Estimate of the amount of money being laundered annually.

The Money Laundering Process
The 3 stages of Money Laundering - Placement - Layering - Integration.

Stages of the Process
How Money Laundering Stages are achieved.

Money Laundering Methods
Techniques used by money launderers.

How Can We Prevent It?
Some measures to prevent this crime.

Effects on Financial Institutions
How this crime affects financial institutions, legally and financially.

Business Areas Prone To Money Laundering
Which businesses are targetted by the money launderer.

UK Legislation
Which legislation in the UK covers Money Laundering.

Money Laundering Offences
What the five basic offences of Money Laundering are.

International Initiatives
Some measures to prevent this crime on an international level.

The Future
Future methods of Laundering cash?.

Some conclusions I have about this area of criminality.

Some recommendations on what can be done to strengthen the fight against this insidious crime.

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If you were to conduct a survey in the streets asking the above question, the general response from most people would be that they had no idea. This typical response is one of the problems the Government has in combating this type of crime. It seems to be a victimless crime. It has none of the drama associated with a robbery or any of the fear that violent crime imprints upon people’s psyche and yet, money laundering can only take place after a predicate crime (such as a robbery or housebreaking or drug dealing) has taken place. It is the lack of information about money laundering that is available to the person on the street, which makes it an invisible problem and hence difficult to tackle.


There are various definitions available which describe the phrase ‘Money Laundering’. Article 1 of the draft European Communities (EC) Directive of March 1990 defines it as:


the conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is derived from serious crime, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or of assisting any person who is involved in committing such an offence or offences to evade the legal consequences of his action, and


the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights with respect to, or ownership of property, knowing that such property is derived from serious crime.



Another definition is:


Money laundering is the process by which large amounts of illegally obtained money (from drug trafficking, terrorist activity or other serious crimes) is given the appearance of having originated from a legitimate source.


If done successfully, it allows the criminals to maintain control over their proceeds and ultimately to provide a legitimate cover for their source of income. Money laundering plays a fundamental role in facilitating the ambitions of the drug trafficker, the terrorist, the organised criminal, the insider dealer, the tax evader as well as the many others who need to avoid the kind of attention from the authorities that sudden wealth brings from illegal activities. By engaging in this type of activity it is hoped to place the proceeds beyond the reach of any asset forfeiture laws.

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