Billions of dollars are wasted each year trying to prevent ‘dirty money’ entering a financial system that is already awash with it. The authors challenge the global approach, arguing that complacency, self-interest and misunderstanding have now created long-standing absurdities.
International and government policy makers inadvertently facilitate tax evasion, corruption, environmental and organised crime by separating crime from its root cause. The handful of crime-fighters that do exist are starved of resources whilst an army of compliance box-tickers are prevented from truly helping. The authors provide a toolbox of evidence-based solutions to help the frontline tackle financial crime.
Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2014 is the global rights watchdog’s flagship 24th annual review of global trends and news in human rights. An invaluable resource for journalists, diplomats, and citizens, it features not only incisive country surveys but also hard-hitting essays highlighting key human rights issues and striking photo essays by award-winning photographers.
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good, in theory.
The money laundering report created a list of the ‘predicate’ crimes, the sort that generate ‘dirty money’. This list had its own self-fulfilling logic, for example, the illegality of the drug trade created high prices and an ‘alternative’ society where all sorts of crimes were committed by drug takers to obtain the money to buy drugs. Since the list of predicate offences made up by the FATF needed to be understood globally, it was framed in everyday English rather than jargon. Today, it provides a clue as to what was on the crime agenda back in
head. Quite frankly, there is much to be said for the idea of predicatecrimes being given first to teams of financial investigators to investigate; they could bring in subject matter experts on particular crime types, if necessary. In practical terms, this is what has happened over the last few decades in parts of Ireland and the UK. Financial investigators are better, cheaper and quicker than ordinary criminal investigators, so there may be efficiencies to be had, depending on local Criminal Procedure Codes.
One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind
element of money laundering, transferring the property knowing it to be the proceeds of the earlier theft. At the time, police and prosecutors had not yet been created, but if they had been, they probably would not have bothered charging Adam and Eve with money laundering. This is because the fruit was gone and confiscation was not an option, given the couple did not have a fig leaf between them. Instead, they would have indicted Eve for theft and Adam for handling stolen goods (or some variation). Money laundering was always there, integral to the predicatecrime
original predicatecrime of bribery). A is in the rich country, B and C are in the poor country and the money is in an offshore country. Prosecutions happen in countries, there is no international place in which to prosecute this single, simple crime and there really should be.
In lieu of a simple solution like an international court for simple corruption, the countries involved have to agree what to do. For clarity, the bribery took place in the rich country and the poor country, and the money laundering is in the offshore country. It may be possible to agree that one
of thing is multiplied by the number of frontiers in the world and the number of crimes.
If you are thinking ‘that couldn’t happen here’, think again. This kind of problem happens everywhere, all the time. The math works like this: the universally understood predicatecrime of theft, for example, is described differently in every legal code in over 200 countries, so a request about theft might go from one country to any other country (200 squared). 2 Theft can be committed in separate ways – consider robbery, burglary and pickpocketing, for example – so there is
line itself could be strengthened by using financial investigation against all crimes, on the reasonable grounds that it is quicker, cheaper and more effective than traditional methods. The other 99% of detectives and their leaders who already investigate predicatecrimes should be deployed against the money from those crimes (something called parallel investigation).
The effectiveness of financial intelligence and financial evidence is poorly understood by prosecutors, police managers and judges. So international guidance and support is needed to develop national
how asset recovery fits into the war on dirty money.
We offer a different way of looking at asset recovery. We suggest that money laundering is integral to every predicatecrime. This is how criminals view it and we agree; there is no point in doing the crime unless you get to keep and enjoy the money. In this sense, the total of predicatecrime equals the total of money laundering, no more and no less. This agrees with the concept of parallel investigation promulgated by the FATF, where the criminal investigation has equal parallel status with the financial
assets can be achieved. Can this be done? The author used to do this for a living, so the answer is yes it can, if the end-user has enough skilled people to do the work.
The vast majority of SARs are not urgent, but they may still be just as valuable in addressing predicatecrime, they just need to be transferred to the end-user. Now, law enforcement in the UK is relatively well-supplied with computers, so the question for the UK is why the SARs are not transferred directly to the computers of police financial investigators at the front line. Surely, it must be