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Defining money laundering under Malawian law: a critical appraisal for compliance with international standards

Lewis Chezan Bande (Faculty of Law Complex, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 1 April 2021

Issue publication date: 31 July 2021

105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically appraise the legal definition of the offence of money laundering under Malawian law. The goal is to evaluate whether the definition meets international standards and best practices on legal definition of money laundering, particularly as contained in the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCATOC).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a doctrinal analysis of the legal definition of the offence of money laundering under Malawian law. It examines the constituent elements of the offence based on the traditional conception of a criminal offence as constituting the prohibited conduct (or actus reus) and the mental element (or mens rea). The paper comparatively evaluates the offence vis-à-vis international standards and best practices, particularly as contained in the UNCATOC.

Findings

The paper concludes that the definition is compliant with international standards and best practices.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on the statutory definition of the offence, but was unable to examine how the offence is interpreted and applied in concrete cases by Malawian courts. The reason is the lack of any case law through which courts have interpreted and applied the offence.

Practical implications

The paper provides the template for future interpretation and application of the offence by courts in the future.

Social implications

Enhancing the clarity and certainty in the law on money laundering in Malawi.

Originality/value

The paper is an elucidation of a statutory provision that was recently adopted in Malawi and for which there is no authoritative clarification. The paper, therefore, makes an invaluable contribution to the fight against money laundering in Malawi by being a guide to law enforcers, lawyers, courts and policy/legislative makers.

Keywords

Citation

Bande, L.C. (2021), "Defining money laundering under Malawian law: a critical appraisal for compliance with international standards", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 559-570. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-07-2020-0080

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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