How is money laundered?
The processes are extensive. Generally speaking, money is laundered whenever a person or business deals in any way with another person’s benefit from crime. That can occur in a number of diverse ways.
Traditionally money laundering has been described as a process which takes place in three distinct stages.
Placement: the stage at which criminally derived funds are introduced in the financial system.
Layering: the substantive stage of the process in which the property is ‘washed’ and its ownership and source is disguised.
Integration: the final stage at which the ‘laundered’ property is re-introduced into the legitimate economy.
This three-staged definition of money laundering is highly simplistic. The reality is that the so called stages often overlap and in some cases, for example in cases of financial crimes, there is no requirement for the proceeds of crime to be ‘placed’.