is the What FATF?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of policies, both at national and international levels, to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Task Force is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
The FATF monitors members’ progress in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally. In performing these activities, the FATF collaborates with other international bodies involved in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The FATF does not have a tightly defined constitution or an unlimited life span. The Task Force reviews its mission every five years. The FATF has been in existence since 1989. In 2004, Ministry representatives from the 33 FATF members agreed to extend the mandate of the Task Force until 2012. This 8-year mandate demonstrates that members of the FATF remain united in their commitment to combat terrorism and international crime, and is a sign of their confidence in the FATf as an important instrument in that fight.
History of the FATF
In response to mounting concern over money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) was established by the G-7 Summit that was held in Paris in 1989. Recognising the threat posed to the banking system and to financial institutions, the G-7 Heads of State or Government and President of the European Commission convened the Task Force from the G-7 member States, the European Commission and eight other countries.
The Task Force was given the responsibility of examining money laundering techniques and trends, reviewing the action which had already been taken at a national or international level, and setting out the measures that still needed to be taken to combat money laundering. In April 1990, less than one year after its creation, the FATF issued a report containing a set of Forty Recommendations, which provide a comprehensive plan of action needed to fight against money laundering.
In 2001, the development of standards in the fight against terrorist financing was added to the mission of the FATF. In October 2001 the FATF issued the Eight Special Recommendations to deal with the issue of terrorist financing. The continued evolution of money laundering techniques led the FATF to revise the FATF standards comprehensively in June 2003. In October 2004 the FATF published a Ninth Special Recommendations, further strengthening the agreed international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing – the 40+9 Recommendations.
During 1991 and 1992, the FATF expanded its membership from the original 16 to 28 members. In 2000 the FATF expanded to 31 members, in 2003 to 33 members, and in 2007 it expanded to its current 34 members. For more see FATF members and observers.
PLACEMENT TECHNIQUES OF MONEY LAUNDERING
Whether it is hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that the criminal has to hide, government regulations which require the reporting of large cash transactions force them to either stockpile the cash generated, then spend it in dribs and drabs, or be creative in legitimizing and accounting for it so they can purchase huge mansions and luxury yachts without concern.
If the criminal only needs to move a few million dollars a year, the simplest way to launder cash without detection is “smurfing “— having people deposit random amounts of less than $10,000 into variously named accounts at many different banks. They will also buy bank drafts from various financial institutions to circumvent thresholds for transaction reporting. Then a middleman can ship the compact negotiables for deposit elsewhere. Due diligence rarely catches this activity. Laundering of accounts held by relatives or friends is also popular.
One smalltime drug trafficker had his wholesalers deposit money into his account using the “Interac” bank tellers. He then withdrew the money to purchase money orders in U.S. funds which he sent out of the country both to purchase more drugs and for safekeeping.
This first hurdle is bypassed by customers paying by certified cheque, money order or credit card as opposed to the more prominent use of cash in drug sales.
A currency structuring charge stems from attempts to make bank transactions in such a way as to evade notice by the federal government, which requires banks to report transactions of more than $10,000.
Shipping Money Abroad
Sometimes they have to resort to shipping the money abroad in bulk cash then arrange to get it back. Someone might smuggle cash to Mexico, deposit it in a United States dollar account, draw out a draft, mail or carry it back into the U.S., deposit or cash it in a bank, with no requirement for the bank to report the transaction.
Sometimes less bulky items are purchased domestically such as diamonds, gold or even precious stamps and other collectibles. The criterion is that they be of high value in relation to bulk, making them physically easy to smuggle as well as relatively easy to reconvert into cash at the point of destination.
Commonly, the proceeds will be wire transferred to accounts back in the U.S.. Enforcement officials believe that as much as $10 billion in Mexican bank drafts is laundered through such schemes each year in Panama alone.
The currency of choice for illegal transactions is the U.S. dollar, which circulates widely outside of the borders of the United States. Indeed, of the $400 billion in U.S. currency in circulation, $300 billion is in circulation outside the United States.
Placement Through Banks fo
Banks and other financial institutions may unwittingly be used as intermediaries for the transfer or deposit of money derived from criminal activity.
One drug smuggler is believed to have laundered approximately $100 million (US) a year over a six year period through deposits into a branch of a Canadian bank located in Nassau, Bahamas. Several accounts would be used, all of them in the name of Nassau-registered corporations. The money was then wired to the bank’s Cayman Islands branch and into the account of a company. From there the money was wired back to the U.S. into the bank’s New York City branch. It would then be dispersed among numerous corporations owned by the individual in the U.S.
Suspicious activity may include:
use of Letters of Credit and other methods to move money between countries where such trade is inconsistent with the customer’s usual business;
customers who make regular payments or receive wire transactions from countries which are tax havens;
frequent requests or use of travelers cheques, foreign currency drafts or other negotiable instruments;
reluctance to provide normal information or providing minimal or fictitious information that is difficult or expensive for the financial institution to verify when applying to open an account;
using accounts with several financial institutions then consolidating them prior to onward transmission of the funds;
greater or unusual use of safe deposit facilities;
companies’ representatives avoiding contact with the branch; and
requests to borrow against assets held by the financial institution or a third party, where the origin of the assets is unknown or the assets are inconsistent with the customer’s standing.
Use of “Pass Through” or “Payable Through” Accounts for Placement
Financial institutions must take care in opening accounts for foreign deposit-taking institutions because a foreign bank may open a chequing account to enable their clients, which the domestic bank may not have sufficient knowledge of, to conduct financial transactions in Canada.
Placement Using Electronic Wire Transfers
Criminals are making extensive use of the electronic payment and message systems for wire transfers. Modern financial systems permit criminals to transfer instantly millions of dollars though personal computers and satellite dishes. The rapid movement of funds between accounts in different jurisdictions increases the complexity of investigating and tracing the source of funds especially when non-customers and non-correspondent banks transfer to equally unknown third parties.
Placement Using Insurance Products
A particular area where the life insurance industry is vulnerable is the single premium product so they must now keep the client application form for every purchase of an immediate or deferred annuity and any insurance policy for which the client will pay $10,000 or more.
An individual who was convicted of stealing over $100,000 from two charitable organizations was discovered to be the owner of a fully paid annuity policy having a value of $140,000.
Unusual signs include:
a request by a client to purchase an insurance product where the source of the funds to purchase the product is inconsistent with the customers financial standing or is a third party cheque;
a client who does not wish to know about the performance of an investment but is concerned only about the early cancellation provisions of a particular product.
Placement Using Investment Related Transactions
Every person engaged in the “business of dealing in securities” must keep appropriate client data and records. Unusual activity includes requests by customers for investment management services (either foreign currency or securities) where the source of the funds is inconsistent with the customer’s apparent standing, large or unusual settlements of securities in cash form and buying and selling a security with no discernible purpose.
Placement Through Collusion of Financial Institution Employees and Agents
Suspicious indications include changes in employee characteristics such as lavish life styles or performance, remarkable or unexpected increase in business volume of selling products for cash; consistently high levels of single premium insurance business far in excess of any average company expectation.
Placement Using Non-Bank Financial Services
There is a growing trend of money launderers moving away from the banking sector to the non-bank financial institution sector where the use of currency exchange houses and wire transfer companies to dispose of criminal proceeds remain among the most often cited threats.
Launderers tend to move their activity to jurisdictions where there are few or weak money-laundering countermeasures. A main resource in money-laundering are the financial havens and offshore centres which started out as a business to service the needs of a privileged few.
An “offshore bank” can be a bank anywhere in the world that accepts deposits solely on behalf of non-residents. While we generally think of the Caribbean when referring to offshore banks there are dozens of locations right around the world which are just as accommodating.
Offshore banking centres are home to more than $5,000 billionin assets – $1,000 billion in bank deposits and $4,000 billion held in the form of stock, bonds, real estate and commodities.
The Cayman Islands, for example, one of the most important offshore jurisdictions, is generally judged to be the fifth largest financial centre in the world behind London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. There are over 570 banks licensed there, with deposits of over $500 billion.
During the last decade, many countries, drained of foreign exchange and with limited natural resources and no prospects of significant economic opportunities, have realized gains in economic and financial strength by becoming safe havens for foreign tax and law evaders.
They freely offer low or non-existent tax rates that are attractive to investors, company owners and ordinary citizens anxious to reduce their tax burdens for they do not regard tax evasion in another country as a crime. These havens also offer tools, available only to non-residents and only to be used offshore, which are designed to defeat the laws of other countries.
Bank Secrecy Laws as a Layering Tool
In many cases, these havens enforce very strict financial secrecy, effectively shielding foreign investors from investigations and prosecutions from their home countries.
Money-laundering can still occur without bank secrecy and some depositors actively avoid it precisely because it acts as a red flag. Professional launderers advise their clients that the only really effective form of secrecy is keeping their mouths shut.
Corporations and Shell Companies as a Layering Tool
Any reasonably sophisticated money launderer will establish a bank account in a financial haven as a corporation rather than as an individual with a “numbered account”. To increase the appearance of legitimacy it is preferable that such a company already have a history of actual activity. Once the corporation is set up, a bank deposit is then made in the haven country in the name of that offshore company.
The incentive for businesses to be registered in offshore havens is to escape the severe tax and registration regulations on domestic companies. They can funnel large amounts of capital to and from offshore countries without the need to declare the transactions to domestic fiscal authorities.
On the condition that it do no business where it is set up, having an international business (IBC) or “offshore” corporation enables its owners to act with complete anonymity and not pay taxes.
In many jurisdictions it is not even required to keep corporate books or records and thus is perfect for concealing the origin and destination of goods in international commerce. Companies can even be capitalized with bearer shares, so that while there is no owner on record anywhere, the person who physically possesses the share certificates owns the company.
Use of Trusts as a Layering Tool
In many jurisdictions, trusts and IBCs are administered by unregulated trust companies. Many laundering schemes then devise another layer of cover where control of the company is transferred to the offshore trust. The trustees then simply give the owner instant access and control over the assets while hiding true ownership.
The unregulated trust companies can help conceal assets by moving the shares of a corporation from one account to another, by changing corporate names, by merging corporations and by changing trust documents on the instruction of the account holder.
They have also been known to manufacture false paper trails and false documentation to assist money launderers and they have routinely provided invoices, receipts and other documents to help fool the customs and tax authorities of other countries.
Offshore trusts may have an additional level of insulation in the form of a “flee clause” that compels the trustee to shift the location of the trust whenever the trust is threatened by war, civil unrest, or more likely, the activities of law enforcement officers or litigious investors and consumers.
Use of Walking Accounts as a Layering Tool
In some instances, criminals will open an account in one jurisdiction but with instructions for any incoming funds to be transferred immediately to another location. Additionally, the bank will be instructed that, in the event of inquiries, bank officials in the second location must be informed. Once they are informed, they in turn have instructions to transfer the money elsewhere.
These schemes, known in law enforcement circles as “walking accounts”, pose serious problems for efforts aimed at seizing dirty money.
The first account is simply the initial depository, and money moves in to it and then immediately moves out. The function of the account is, essentially, to act as an early warning mechanism to identify any inquiries by law enforcement and to set off further countermeasures to protect the money.
Establishing a Self-Owned “Instant Bank” as a Layering Tool
The trail can be further complicated if the launderer purchases their own “instant bank” in one of several jurisdictions that offer such facilities. He then just makes sure that his “bank” is one of those through which his money passes so he can either close the bank or destroy the records to evade authorities.
On just one of the haven islands there are approximately 300 banks operating with only about ten actually maintaining physical banking offices there. The others are operated by management firms for absentee owners or exist only as accounts in other banks.
Use of Intermediaries as a Layering Tool
Money launderers frequently use various lawyers along the route so that they will also be protected by the confidentiality of the lawyer/client relationship. There is also an increasing reliance in offshore centres on brokers and agents to generate customers, to act as intermediaries in establishing accounts, trusts, and the like, and to act as an additional layer of insulation and confidentiality.
These professional launderers include accountants, lawyers and private bankers who, while offering money-laundering services to a wide range of criminals, are adept at not asking questions that would require them to refuse business or even to report their clients or potential clients to the authorities. They are aware that those who fail to comply with professional “best standards” might be liable under the “want of probity” principle.
Some offshore financial institutions will generate false invoices, bills of lading, end-user certificates and other forms of documentation to give the appearance of legitimacy to a variety of illicit transactions. Over-invoicing using false documents can be an excellent cover for moving the proceeds of drug trafficking and other crimes, while false invoices, bills and receipts can be used for a variety of tax frauds.
INTEGRATION TECHNIQUES OF MONEY LAUNDERING
Once the funds have been moved through the international financial system enough to make their origins extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trace, it is time to move them home again, to be enjoyed as consumption or employed as capital.
Use of Haven Bank Credit Cards as an Integration Tool
Funds can be repatriated through a debit or credit card issued by an offshore bank without leaving a financial trail. The banks assure their clients that the card account information is protected by the same rules that protect the other account information.
Bills incurred at home can also be settled by an offshore bank through their deposit account or even more discretely by an offshore company.
Scammers and tax evaders using this method may soon hear a tax man knocking on their door, as a result of a federal judge’s order for American Express and MasterCard to hand over all records on cards issued or paid out of banks in Antigua, Barbuda, the Caymans and the Bahamas in 1998/99.
The IRS estimates that as many as 2 million people may be depositing funds in tax havens based on MasterCard’s reported 230,000 accounts in just four Caribbean countries.
Receiving Consulting or Directors Fees as an Integration Tool
For truly regular income flows, the criminal might arrange to collect the money in the form of income by having one or more of their offshore companies hire them as a consultant or director so that they can then pay themselves generous consulting fees, as well as possibly a company car or a condominium in a prime location, out of the offshore nest-egg.
Arranging Corporate Loans as an Integration Tool
Probably the craftiest solution of all is to bring the money home in the form of a business “loan”. The criminal arranges for money held in an offshore account to be “lent” to their local business. Not only is the money returning home in completely nontaxable form, but it can be used in such a way as to reduce taxes due on strictly legal domestic income. Once the “loan” has been incurred, the borrower has the right to repay it, with interest, effectively to themselves.
In effect, they can legally ship even more money out of the country to a foreign safe haven while deducting the “interest” component as a business expense against domestic taxable income.
Proceeds of Gambling as an Integration Tool
Money can be brought back from trips disguised as casino winnings. Money is first wired from their offshore bank account to a casino in some tourist centre abroad. The casino pays the money in chips; the chips are then cashed in; and the money is repatriated via bank check, money-order or wire transfer to their domestic bank account where it can be explained as the result of good luck during a gambling junket. Organized crime groups have been known to purchase winning race track and lottery tickets for a premium to help account for their cash.
Real Estate Transactions as an Integration Tool
Another option is for the criminal to use international real estate flips. Here they arrange to “sell” a piece of property to a foreign investor who is, in reality, themselves working through one or several offshore companies. The “sale” price is suitably inflated above acquisition cost, and the money is repatriated in the form of a capital gain on a real estate “deal”.
Similar local property deals occur where they will purchase a piece of property, paying below the real market value on the paperwork. The rest of the purchase price is paid in cash, under-the-table. The property is then resold for the full market value and the money recouped, with the illegal component now appearing to be capital gains.
An increasingly common method involves placing a deposit on a house purchase and then pulling out of the deal after a few days. Although it usually involves the solicitor (lawyer) deducting a 5% commission on a failed deal, the criminals then get a legitimate check from the solicitor’s office.
Using Stock Purchases as an Integration Tool
With the aid of dishonest stock or commodity brokers the person seeking to launder money buys spot and sells forward, or the reverse. One transaction records a capital gain, the other a capital loss.
The broker then destroys the record of the losing transaction and the launderer exits with the money now appearing as capital gains. The cost is the double commission plus any hush money demanded by the broker.
Use of Businesses as an Integration Tool
To handle ongoing flows of criminal money, cash-rich launderers like to use cash-based retail service businesses such as Laundromats, car washes, vending-machine routes, video-game arcades, video rentals or bars and restaurants, then mix the illegal and legal cash and report the total as the earnings of the cover business.
In so doing, the money is distanced from the crime, hidden in the accounts of a legitimate business and can then resurface as the earnings of a firm with a plausible reason for generating that much cash. The technique chosen will depend on the amounts and whether the criminal operation is a one time event or something to be conducted on an ongoing basis.
International Importing and Exporting as an Integration Tool
The criminal might also choose to repatriate the money as business income. It is merely a matter of setting up a domestic corporation and having it bill an offshore company for goods sold or services provided.
If commodities are the chosen vehicle, it is safer that they actually exist and are overvalued (if on the way out) or undervalued ( on the way in), rather than completely fake. The same can happen with services as well, without the need to be bothered with physical inventory.
They may take over a company that engages regularly in international trade in goods and/or services then divide the payments between “suppliers” in several countries, alternate between wire and written forms of remittance and ensure that the nominal recipients appear to have sound business reputations. Service companies are the best for there are no clear rules against which to check the prices being charged to the domestic company.
Money launderers also receive the assistance of accountants, notaries, lawyers, real estate agents, and agents for the purchase and sale of luxury items, precious metals, and even consumer durables, textiles, and other products involved in the import-export trade.
Use of Free Trade Zones as an Integration Tool
Free trade zones are convenient places to arrange to have dirty money pay for goods that will generate bank deposits in other countries. In this type of money-laundering, they pay for the goods with money in the country where the goods are manufactured.
The goods are then shipped to a company in a free trade zone to conceal the source of the payment. They are then shipped to the final destination where the goods are sold for the local currency and a local currency account is created whereby a legitimate trade transaction has covered the criminal laundering.
About the Financial Action Task Force
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) was established by a G-7 Summit held in Paris in 1989, with the cooperation of the European Commission and eight other countries.
Membership of the FATF currently consists of 31 countries and two organisations.
To qualify for membership, a country must:
(a) be strategically important;
(b) be a full and active member of a relevant FATF-style Regional Body;
(c) provide a formal written commitment to implement the FATF recommendations; and
(d) effectively criminalise money laundering and terrorist financing; make it mandatory for financial institutions to identify their customers, to keep customer records and to report suspicious transactions; and establish an effective FIU.
The work of the FATF focuses on three principal areas:
(1) setting standards for national anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing programmes
(2) evaluating the degree to which countries have implemented measures that meet those standards
(3) identifying and studying money laseundering and terrorist financing methods and trends
The Task Force’s initial aim was to examine money laundering techniques and trends, the current methods of countering these activities, and recommending steps to be taken to enhance current practices. In April 1990, the FATF issued a report containing a set of Forty Recommendations, which constitutes a proposed plan of action to combat money laundering. These have since been revised in 1996 and in 2003.
The FATF continues to examine methods used to launder criminal proceeds and has conducted two evaluations of each of the member countries to assess the status of implementation.
In 2001, the fight against terrorist financing was added to the mission of the FATF and consequently led to the development of nine standards in this regard.
The current mandate (pdf) was created in 1998 and focuses on:
- Spreading the anti-money laundering message to all continents and regions of the globe
- Monitoring the implementation of the Forty Recommendations in FATF members
- Reviewing money laundering trends and countermeasures
The FATF includes a President and a Secretariat. The Presidency is a one year position, commencing in June and held by “a high level government official” from one of the member countries.
The Secretariat supports the Task Force and the President and is resident at the OECD Headquarters in France.
FATF Plenary meetings are held annually. The 2005 Plenary (pdf) was held October 12-14 and was attended by 400 delegates from 32 jurisdictions and 16 international organizations.
There are various FATF-style organizations, set up in regional locations, whose aim is to promote and enforce the FATF recommendations within their respective regions. These currently consist of:
- Asia / Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)
- Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)
- Council of Europe Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (MONEYVAL) (formerly PC-R-EV)
- Eurasian Group (EAG)
- Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG )
- Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD )
- Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)
Additionally, there are a number of international organizations that maintain links with the FATF. These are:
- African Development Bank
- Asia Development Bank
- The Commonwealth Secretariat
- Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) [English/French/German/Russian]
- European Central Bank (ECB)
- Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- Intergovernmental Action Group against Money-Laundering in Africa (GIABA) International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
- Organization of American States / Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (OAS/CICTE)
- Organization of American States/ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD)
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors (OGBS)
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- World Bank World Customs Organisation (WCO)
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Money Laundering – Some Measures To Prevent It
by Billy Steel
The primary purpose of organised crime is to make profits. Like any business, the purposes of profit are to enjoy it and re-invest it in future activity. For the organised criminal, however, profit close to the source of the crime represents a particular vulnerability and unless the criminal can effectively distance himself or herself from the crime which is the source of the profit they remain susceptible to detection and prosecution. Hence the need to launder their illicit profits to make them appear legitimate.
The biggest source of illicit profits comes from the drugs’ trade and it was drug trafficking that provided the initial catalyst for concerted international efforts against money laundering. The drugs’ industry is a highly cash intensive business and “in the case of cocaine and heroin the physical volume of notes received is much larger than the volume of drugs themselves”. In order to rid themselves of this large burden it is necessary to use the financial services industry and in particular, deposit-taking institutions.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Money Laundering has identified certain ‘choke’ points in the money laundering process that the launderer finds difficult to avoid and where he is vulnerable to detection. The initial focus has to be on these areas if the war against the launderer is to proceed successfully.
The choke points identified are:
- entry of cash into the financial system;
- transfers to and from the financial system; and
- cross-border flows of cash.
The entry of cash into the financial system, known as the ‘placement’ stage is where the launderer is most vulnerable to detection. Because of the large amounts of cash involved it is extremely hard to place it into a bank account legitimately.
The UK’s system of reporting suspicious transactions to the authorities along with the procedures adopted by deposit-takers are powerful weapons against money launderers. In particular, the emphasis being placed on the importance of deposit-taking institutions ‘knowing their customer’ has severely curtailed this activity to such an extent that one of the favourite methods for money launderers to ‘place’ their money is to smuggle the money out of the country. There are penalties attached to the various money laundering offences for the deposit-taking institutions and these have provided for a powerful incentive for reporting suspicions to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).
However, cross-border flows of cash is one of the areas mentioned above where the launderer is vulnerable to detection. In the UK, legislation provides the police and customs service with the power to seize cash they believe could be the proceeds of drug trafficking. Part III of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990 (CJICA) introduced the powers for customs and police officers to seize cash being brought into or out of the United Kingdom, where they have reason to believe that such money represents the proceeds of drug trafficking or is intended to be used in drug trafficking. The power operates in respect of consignments of cash of £10,000 or more. Additionally, the courts are empowered to order the confiscation of such cash, where they are satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, of the alleged link with drug trafficking.
These measures overcome the difficulty of custom officers coming across large amounts of cash with no reasonable explanation for their export/import but, at the same time, with no hard evidence of links to drug trafficking it allows the detention of the cash pending an investigation. Due to this, couriers limit the amount they carry out of the country at any one time and the risk is seen as being less than passing the money into a financial institution.
The reporting of suspicious transactions is not limited to cash in the UK. Transfers to and from the financial system are also under the umbrella of ‘reporting of suspicious transactions’ and this can provide useful information on the ‘layering’ stage of the money laundering process. The keeping of comprehensive transaction records (part of the procedures) by financial organisations provides a useful audit trail and gives useful information on people and organisations involved in laundering schemes once discovered.
It is important, therefore, to ensure that complacency does not creep into our financial institutions at this stage, now that the measures are in place to deny money launderers open access to these same institutions.
Kejahatan Pencucian Uang
Placement merupakan upaya menempatkan dana yang dihasilkan dari suatu aktivitas kejahatan. Dalam hal ini terdapat pergerakan fisik dari uang tunai, baik melalui penyelundupan uang tunai dari suatu negara ke negara lain, menggabungkan antara uang tunai yang berasal dari kejahatan dan uang yang diperoleh dari hasil kegiatan yang sah, ataupun dengan melakukan penempatan uang giral ke dalam sistem perbankan, misalnya deposito, saham-saham, atau juga mengonversikan ke dalam mata uang lainnya atau transfer uang ke dalam valuta asing.
Layering, sebuah aktivitas memisahkan hasil kejahatan dari sumbernya melalui beberapa tahapan transaksi keuangan. Dalam hal ini, terdapat proses pemindahan dana dari beberapa rekening atau lokasi tertentu sebagai hasil placement ke tempat lainnya melalui serangkaian transaksi yang kompleks yang didesain untuk menyamarkan/mengelabui sumber dana “haram” tersebut. Layering dapat pula dilakukan melalui pembukaan sebanyak mungkin ke rekening-rekening perusahaan-perusahaan fiktif dengan memanfaatkan ketentuan rahasia bank.
Integration, yaitu upaya untuk menetapkan suatu landasan sebagai suatu legitimate explanation bagi hasil kejahatan. Di sini uang yang “dicuci” melalui placement maupun layering dialihkan ke dalam kegiatan-kegiatan resmi sehingga tampak tidak berhubungan sama sekali dengan aktivitas kejahatan sebelumnya yang menjadi sumber dari uang yang dicuci. Pada tahap ini, uang yang telah dicuci dimasukkan kembali ke dalam sirkulasi dengan bentuk yang sejalan dengan aturan hukum.
Mengenal Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang [Ekonomi dan Keuangan]
Placement merupakan tindakan penempatan uang kotor ke dalam sistem keuangan yang sah. Tujuan dari tahapan ini adalah, uang kotor tersebut bisa dikonversikan ke dalam cheque, money order ataupun bentuk lain guna mengaburkan asal-usul uang tersebut. Dalam praktiknya, tahapan ini membutuhkan \\\”dukungan\\\” dari berbagai lembaga keuangan resmi yang ada dalam negara.
Tahapan berikutnya adalah layering. Tahapan ini dilakukan dengan menjauhkan dana dari berbagai aktivitas ilegal dengan tujuan mempersulit pelacakan oleh pihak berwenang. Baik itu dengan memindahkannya dalam beberapa rekening ataupun dengan memindahkannya ke dalam wilayah kerja yang berbeda.
Dengan adanya jumlah uang mencolok dalam sebuah transaksi, tentu saja hal ini akan menimbulkan berbagai kecurigaan. Karenanya, dana tersebut perlu dipecah dan didistribusikan ke beberapa rekening kongsinya. Semakin banyak dana itu didistribusikan, maka semakin sukar pula pelacakan yang dilakukan.
Tahapan terakhir adalah integration. Dimana dengan uang yang \\\”sudah bersih\\\”, para pelaku akan memanfaatkan kembali dana yang dimilikinya. Image yang muncul, dana tersebut sah, dengan sumber yang sah, serta dibelanjakan di jalan yang sah.
Bila dalam sekala kecil, tahap integration diwujudkan dalam bentuk barang-barang. Namun dalam sekala besar, bisa dimanifestokan dalam investasi ataupun dalam bentuk instrumen keuangan. Apalagi sekarang di Indonesia semakin memperkaya diri dengan berbagai instrumen keuangan.