Legal and Finance: September 11 Attacks Have Led to Tighter Regulations for Catching Cash Criminals; Malcolm Preece, Senior Tax Manager with Aston Gilbert & Squire, Considers the Implications of the New Legislation

Article excerpt

Byline: Malcolm Preece

For years there have been suggestions that vast amounts of illegal money is being laundered, particularly by drug dealers and international gangsters.

The events of September 11, 2001, drew attention to just how much money laundering is going on in the world.

It showed that international terrorists were moving cash around with great ease and that present controls were not particularly effective.

Various governments around the world had also realised that money laundering was contributing significantly to both tax evasion and the 'black economy'. As a result of these concerns, rules and regulations are being tightened in very many ways and effort is being concentrated on money laundering to a quite unparalleled extent.

Anyone running a business needs to have some knowledge of what the issues are and how they could easily find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Money laundering is essentially the method by which a criminal places the proceeds of crime into a bank account without drawing attention to what has been done.

If a drug dealer went along to a bank on Monday morning and tried to pay in the weekend's takings, the bank would notice it and report it -unless the sum was relatively small. If criminals can find a legitimate business to help them by taking the cash and pretending that it is the business's money being paid in (in exchange for a proportion), that business can put the cash into the bank without questions asked. …