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European antiquities trade: a refuge for money laundering and terrorism financing

Fabian Maximilian Johannes Teichmann (Teichmann International AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 2 July 2019




This paper aims to demonstrate how criminals launder money in the antiquities trade in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.


A qualitative content analysis of 58 semi-structured expert interviews with both criminals and prevention experts and a quantitative survey of 184 compliance officers revealed the concrete techniques used to launder money in the European antiquities trade.


The antiquities market facilitates the placement, layering and integration of the transfer of assets to terrorist organizations. Most importantly, it is among the few profitable methods of laundering money.

Research limitations/implications

As the findings of the qualitative study are based on semi-standardized interviews, they are limited to the 58 interviewees’ perspectives.

Practical implications

The identification of concrete methods of money laundering and terrorism financing aims to provide compliance officers, law enforcement agencies and legislators with valuable insight into criminal activity.


While the existing literature focuses on organizations fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism, this study instead describes how criminals avoid detection by taking into account prevention and criminal perspectives.



Teichmann, F.M.J. (2019), "European antiquities trade: a refuge for money laundering and terrorism financing", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 410-416.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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