Money Laundering in the EU

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Methods and Stages

The explosion of money laundering

Macroeconomic Consequences

The Risks to Financial Institutions

The Risk to the Financial System

The Euro and Money Laundering

Money Laundering as Tax Evasion

Social and Political Costs

International Conventions

EU Directives on Money Laundering

The Achilles Heel

Bibliography and some useful links

 



The Achilles Heel

Although money laundering is a threat to the good functioning of a financial system, it can also be the Achilles heel of criminal activity. In law enforcement investigations of organised criminal activity, it is frequently the connections made through financial transaction records that allow hidden assets to be located and that establish the identity of the criminals and the criminal organisation involved. When criminal funds are derived from robbery, extortion, embezzlement or fraud, a money laundering investigation is often the only way to locate the stolen funds and restore them to the victims. Essentially, targeting the money laundering aspect of criminal activity and depriving the criminal group the ill-gotten gains equates to hitting them where it hurts and where they are most vulnerable, for without a usable profit, the criminal activity will cease to continue.  However, it will not be possible to stop money laundering without full global cooperation.