1: Global standards, governance and the risk-based approach

The chapter begins with the war between good and evil. The ‘love of money as the root of all evil’ explains a world awash with dirty money from countless crimes. A global anti-money laundering (AML) regime is failing to prevent this evil, but the authors suggest realistic reforms which are explored in subsequent chapters, which are summarised, and their order explained.

A short history of the AML regime and the role of law enforcement in tackling money laundering is critiqued. The possibility that the regime was hobbled from the outset by short-term parochial interests is discussed.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is applauded for establishing a global infrastructure but the concept of preventing money laundering through compliance with recommendations is questioned. The FATF New Methodology is welcomed but the authors question whether technical compliance equates to real prevention and whether the enforcement regime really reduces crime.

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