Money laundering

Money laundering is a complex and serious issue that has drawn attention from various fields including law, economics, and politics. And in this short article, I will provide an overview of money laundering, its impact, and current efforts to combat it.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering—an insidious practice—entails concealing the gains from illicit undertakings under the cloak of lawful funds. This pervasive quandary permeates nations across the spectrum of advancement, be they developed or developing countries.

Malefactors employ a sundry array of stratagems to cleanse their ill-gotten gains, encompassing the surreptitious transport of cash, the utilization of obscure corporate entities, and the artifice of trade-based money laundering.

The repercussions of this pernicious activity reverberate widely, encompassing the pernicious facets of terrorism financing, political impropriety, and the malfeasance inherent in organized criminal enterprises.

Understanding money laundering schemes

Most commonly, criminals engage in three stages when trying to hide their assets through money laundering: placement, layering, and integration. These stages, sometimes referred to as “the placement triangle,” create distance between the illicit source of the money and any proceeds derived from the fund.


Placement is the first stage in the money laundering process. It involves the placement of illegally obtained funds into the financial system. The funds are often placed into accounts in different financial institutions to avoid detection. This stage also involves the use of cash-intensive businesses such as casinos, money service businesses, and car dealerships to deposit the funds into the financial system


Layering is the second stage in the money laundering process. It involves the separation of the funds from their illegal source through a series of transactions. This stage is used to make it difficult to trace the origin of the funds. The funds may be transferred through multiple accounts in different financial institutions or through different countries.


Integration is the final stage in the money laundering process. It involves the use of the funds for legitimate purposes. The funds are reintroduced into the economy through investments in real estate, businesses, or other assets. This stage makes it difficult to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate funds. The laundered funds can then be used without fear of detection.

Wrap up

It is important to note that money laundering is a complex process that involves the use of various techniques to conceal the origin of the funds. Hence some criminals find ease in exploiting technology, particularly cryptocurrencies, to facilitate their illicit money laundering activities.

And to confront this predicament, many nations have taken recourse to a range of measures in their arsenal. Anti-money laundering laws and regulations, alongside reporting requirements and the deployment of financial intelligence units, have been implemented to combat money laundering effectively.