What is Reverse Money Laundering?

Blog / What is Reverse Money Laundering?

Although it may appear obvious to some, reverse money laundering is the opposite of typical money laundering. This implies that, rather than spreading out illegal gains to conceal them and lower the chances of being found, legal funds are pulled out of regular circulation to be utilized for criminal activity and tax evasion. Unlike laundering, which aims to make 'dirty' money look 'clean,' reverse laundering makes 'clean' money 'dirty.'

Tax evasion, bribery, and any other type of cutting corners when it comes to obeying the laws in the corporate sector, as well as other illegal conduct, can all be reasons for reverse money laundering. Because real funds are utilized in reverse money laundering, monitoring, identifying, and prohibiting it is considerably more complicated than straight money laundering.

Terrorist Funding and Reverse Money Laundering

Terrorist finance refers to operations carried out in order to offer financial support for terrorism. Because it operates by exploiting legal assets to carry out illicit actions, this word is frequently used to describe a type of reverse money laundering. The 'clean' lawful money may take the form of charitable organizations or real enterprises in order to conceal its motive and allow for inconceivable deeds.

Terror comes at an excellent price, both in terms of human suffering and financial expenses. There is the expense of the operation itself, as well as employee compensation, training facilities, communications, and travel. Terrorists seek legal sources to assist their illegal activities due to the necessity for financial resources as well as the criminal character of the operation itself.

Terrorists frequently obtain support from nations, private individuals, and organizations, taking advantage of the fact that they may locate people who share their beliefs and are prepared to contribute money to their cause.

Terrorists frequently need to use the financial system to shift funds around and make purchases in order to spend them. This is why regulated financial institutions have features and mechanisms in place to monitor suspicious activity.

Money is very appealing to terrorists (and money launderers in general) since it is entirely anonymous and is easy to transform into another resource. Despite this, cash is cumbersome and difficult to conceal or legitimize for large purchases, so thieves have limited access to it.

What is the Definition of Reverse Money Laundering?

In simple terms, terrorist financing occurs in three stages:

  • Terrorist-related fundraising (often through seemingly legitimate sources)
  • Transferring the funds raised to the terrorist's headquarters
  • Transferring funds from terrorist command to people in order to facilitate acts

While these three processes do not usually include money laundering, it is common to use laundering or reverse laundering to transfer money around. Terrorists, unlike ordinary criminals, do not intend to 'get away' with their crimes permanently. As a result, they are less concerned with money laundering to conceal their actions and more interested with laundering/reverse laundering to do activities, whether they are finally discovered or not.

9/11 Attack was Carried out Through Revers Money Laundering 

The 9/11 terrorist assault was fueled by reverse money laundering; it has now been discovered. In one instance, funds from the United Arab Emirates were routed via a New York bank account before being transferred to another Florida bank's hijackers' accounts. In another case, the terrorists brought large sums of money into the nation. Whatever the source, the money came from lawful sources, but it was all for a terrible goal.

The message is straightforward: terrorism and many other illegal activities may be funded with completely clean finances. When this occurs, reverse money laundering takes place. You should comply with the AML regulations, whether it is straight or reverse. If you want to learn about Sanction Scanner's Anti Money Laundering solution, you may contact us and request a demo. 



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