Money laundering

A money-laundering offence is committed where a person deals with cash or assets knowing or suspecting that they, or the original source of funds, were obtained by criminal activity.  The purpose of money-laundering is to conceal the criminal source of funds, or to move funds out of reach of the relevant prosecutors or courts.


  • A government official receives a large amount of cash as a bribe and pays it into an offshore bank account in the name of a relative. The bank accepts the money even though the relevant bank manager suspects that it was obtained through criminal activity.  Both the government official and the bank manager (and possibly the bank) are likely to be liable for money-laundering.
  • A finance manager of an organisation embezzles money from his organisation. He purchases a large house in another country with the money.  The estate agent who arranges the sale suspects that the money was obtained through criminal activity but still goes ahead with the sale and accepts payment for the house.  Both the finance manager and the estate agent are likely to be liable for money-laundering.

Avoiding money laundering:

Do not deal with any money or other asset which you know or suspect may wholly or partly be the proceeds of a crime.

If you know or suspect that an activity involves money laundering, then avoid or withdraw from the activity and do not assist it in any way.

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June 2022