Money Laundering is a big topic these days in Foreign Exchange circles. The criminal or terrorist element is almost certainly participating in that high tech world. You have probably heard or read of somebody being arrested for this recently.
Money laundering is the process a criminal uses to distance themselves from the proceeds of their crime, yet maintain access to the funds. Most basically, a criminal attempts to take enough steps with the money that it is untraceable to the crime.
Laundering generally takes three distinct stages:
* Placement: Smurfers are used to introduce the dirty money into the system, these smurfers change the form of the money numerous times until the launderer feels the original funds cannot be traced back to them.
* Layering: Layering involves the changing of cash into drafts, money orders, traveler’s checks etc. Launderers ensure each transaction is under reporting laws; so many smaller transactions are made instead of fewer large transactions. This way each transaction looks legitimate and no paper trail is created.
* Integration: Once the money has changed form several times, the launderer has buried the trail of its origination. At this point it is impossible to trace the funds back to the original crime. The launderer is now able to introduce the funds back into use, often through a front company.
Reputable currency traders are concerned about money laundering. Being non-bank Financial Services Companies, makes currency traders susceptible to money launderers. Involvement in money laundering can result in fines, criminal charges, loss of reputation and loss of business to the currency trader. In some cases where the money laundering is for terrorism purposes, the results can be catastrophic.
How do currency traders prevent money laundering? Without going into too much detail, reputable currency traders will get to know you very well before proceding to set up an account or allowing any transactions to take place. Traders will also get to know your beneficiaries very well. The whole process is designed to eliminate any doubt about who is involved in any transactions and what they are transacting.
The good news is that much of what currency traders will ask you is designed to protect your interest as well. If you are doing business with someone in a foreign country, you want to make sure you are going to get paid for your goods or services. You also want to make sure that the foreign business actually exists as claimed. And you also want to make sure the foreign business has a bank account in good standing. These are all things the currency trader will guarantee for you.