The Financial Task Force (FATF) has recently published a report that looks at the techniques and tools used by professional money launders (PMLs).

The report provides an insight into the various money laundering typologies employed by PMLs, including trade-based money laundering (TBML), underground banking and alternative banking platforms.

Complicit professionals

The report says that PMLs using TBML and other money laundering techniques are known to create an illusion of legitimacy in their activities and often work with corrupt individuals who specialise in providing otherwise legitimate services.

These include bankers, lawyers, and accountants, who are often a necessary component in money laundering operations the report says.

Multiple clients

According to FATF, PMLs often work for more than one criminal or criminal organisation and a successful prosecution of a PML can therefore potentially affect the activities of several criminal clients.

The global watchdog’s report highlights how important it is for countries to address activities such as laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking, fraud and tax evasion.

Innovative project

It also stresses the importance of addressing and effectively dismantling structures that specialise in providing criminals with money laundering services and PML networks.

This is the first time the FATF has undertaken a project which concentrates on PMLs that specialise in enabling criminals to evade anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing safeguards and sanctions in order to enjoy the profits from illegal activities.

The full FATF report can be found here.