The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a report with more than a dozen case studies on how gold can be used to launder money.

The international body that sets standards for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating terrorist financing (CFT) says that gold provides an alternative means for criminals to store or move their assets.

Attractions of gold

The joint FATF-Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering report, Money Laundering / Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities, identifies the many features that make gold attractive to criminals to use as a vehicle for money laundering: it has a stable value, it is anonymous, easily transformable and interchangeable.

The report also says that the highly lucrative gold market also presents proceed-generating opportunities for criminals at each stage, from mining to retailing.

Case studies

Understanding what makes gold – in common with other precious metals and stones, such as diamonds- attractive to criminals to legitimise their assets and to generate profits is essential in identifying this sector’s money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

This report provides a series of case studies and red flag indicators to raise awareness of the key vulnerabilities of gold and the gold market, particularly for AML and CFT terrorism practitioners as well as companies involved in the gold industry.