To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The institutional framework against money laundering and its underlying predicate crimes

Norman Mugarura (Global Action Research and Development Initiative (Garadi) Ltd, Barking, UK and The Law Tutor Limited, London, UK)

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

ISSN: 1358-1988

Article publication date: 10 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to underscore the current supranational anti‐money laundering (AML) regimes articulating challenges of harnessing them as a robust framework. Some aspects of the above framework are created under the auspices of the United Nations treaties, some are regional‐based initiatives while others are ad hoc arrangements.


The paper was written on the basis of the supranational framework against money laundering such as the United Nations Convention against drug trafficking and other psychotropic substances. Owing to the limitations of the above AML model law, the paper utilised a qualitative research methodology, exploring a wide range of the current AML regimes. The paper has also exploited the revised AML framework which expands the scope of the offence to encompass, not only proceeds from drug trafficking but also serious criminal activities (smuggling, fraud, serious financial crimes, and the sale of stolen goods). Ideally, the paper has been written based on the provisions of the United Nations Convention against transnational organised crimes and its attendant three protocols adopted in Palermo (2000); and the Financial Action Task Force (2004). The foregoing regimes underscore an essential framework for the study of money laundering and its attendant predicate offences globally.


The findings of the study clearly demonstrate that the current AML framework is not robust enough to caution countries against the threat of money laundering. There is a gaping gap in the law of money laundering within and between regions even though there is a global framework in place. This is presumably the reason why some countries have not fully transposed some aspects of current AML regimes locally.

Social implications

The gaps in the law against money laundering – both in relation to the way they are created and enforced signify that states still need to do more collectively to stem the threat of money laundering. The current intransigence in application of AML laws in some countries sign‐post the inherent challenges of globalisation of international finance.


While there is a growing body of literature generated on supranational AML regimes, this paper is distinctly based on the interplay of global and local factors in harnessing it. Thus, the research design of this paper is connected by two strands – a review of existing supranational AML framework and the inherent challenges faced by individual states in domesticating it. The paper is also written based on some practical experiences of harnessing global AML regimes in some countries.



Mugarura, N. (2011), "The institutional framework against money laundering and its underlying predicate crimes", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 174-194.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited