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LLM 2011 International Corporate Governance

tag 0 Download 34 Pages / 8,468 Words tag 14-07-2021


Money laundering, in essence, means ‘making money dirty money look clean. The modern term of Money laundering was first used in a legal context in 1982 in America in the case US v $4,255,625.39, relating to the confiscation of laundered Columbian drug proceeds1 . However, historically, the concept of money laundering was originally used by the American enforcement officers in the 1920s. The concept was used in reference to the mafia ownership of Laundromats in America during Prohibition. During this period, the notorious mobs earned vast sum of money in cash from their criminal enterprises. Hence, in their quest to legitimise the proceeds made from their criminal enterprises, the gang ventured into buying out rightly legitimate businesses, thereby, laundered the illicit proceeds from the criminal.

The enterprises with proceeds made from the legitimate business they acquired This particular practice, the legalisation of illegal proceeds, is very significant as it represents the common component in regard to the various definitions of money laundering. Thus, the aim of money laundering is to cover up the predicate offences from which proceeds are derived and to ensure that the criminals can enjoy their proceeds, by conserving or investing them in the legal economy.

Following the criminalisation of the phenomenon of money laundering and the legalisation of the term, the term has been defined in various contexts by various stakeholders. As mentioned earlier, the common basis of the various definitions is such that relates to the legalisation of the illicit proceeds of criminal activities. As such, the American President’s commission on Organised Crime in its interim report in 1985: The cash connection: Organised Crime, Financial Institutions and Money Laundering, defined Money Laundering as the process by which one conceals the
existence, illegal source or illegal application of income, and then disguises that income to make it appear legitimate.

The International Monetary Fund, also defines money laundering as a process in which assets obtained or generated by criminal activity are moved or concealed to obscure the link between the crime and the assets.
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