Money laundering is a major problem related to organised crime and especially to its transnational manifestations. Organised crime, which is associated with a continuous inflow of enormous amounts of money, creates the problem of protecting and hiding the money while at the same time taking every precaution possible. Members of organised criminal groups are therefore forced to conduct all kinds of operations of acquisition or transfer of legal rights whose final stage is the ultimate integration of income deriving from illegal sources. Such behaviour, called ‘money laundering’, constitutes the ‘roots’ of organised crime; in other words, it is the fundamental basis for the existence of organised crime. That is why, as part of various international initiatives aimed at preventing and counteracting organised crime, particular attention is paid to the issue of trying to limit the scope of money laundering. It is worth adding here that the phenomenon is also associated with crimes (especially in the economic and financial area) that do not necessarily have to have an organised nature.
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