Money Laundering 


This article is written by- Surbhi Kumari from Amity University Patna.


Money Laundering is the method in which cash created through criminal activities becomes legitimate cash or “white cash.” So, concealment is reworking black cash into white cash through numerous methods. In recent times, concealment is being related to monetary crimes particularly with the misuse of the national economy. Cash obtained from crimes like extortion, evasion, trading, gambling, etc. The one that makes cash from such activities must “clean” this cash so banks or the other establishment settle for that money without any misgiving. When any criminality is generating plenty of profit, the person or the cluster engaged in such activities gets to manage the profits, while not drawing suspicion to themselves. Criminals do that by changing the shape of the money, disguising the supply of the money or transferring the money to an area wherever it’s unlikely to draw a lot of attention.


What is unlawful money?

Unlawful Money means money that has been obtained by doing illegal activities like murder, extortion, bribery, drug traffic etc. The method of changing such yield of crime into legal and white cash is known as concealment. In India, there’s a law created for preventing such activities of cash wash called Money Laundering Act,2002. This law is enforced by the Enforcement board of directors in India. Money laundering has an adverse result on economy. It will erode the nation’s wealth by unsteadying the demand and supply of money, creating interest and charge per unit.


There are 3 stage of money laundering

1. Placement Stage

2. Layering Stage

3. Integration Stage


In the Placement stage, the money or the funds square measure enraptured from its supply. Their square measure through which the initial supply of the funds will be disguised and invisible. This could be done by putting the money into circulation through retailers, casinos, etc. The position stage will be achieved through numerous suggests that such as-

• Bank Complicity– this example arises once monetary establishments or banks square measure owned by people UN agency themselves square measure crooked and scheming. They’ll draw deals with drug dealers, human traffickers and different criminal syndicates, which makes the method of laundering horribly straightforward. The alleviation provided by the financial organization allow them to launder the money without any issue.

• Currency smuggling– Physically transporting any monetary instruments or money out of the country through outlaw signals currency smuggling. Physical importation does not leave a trail to follow in order to track down the funds.

• Asset Purchase– Buying something valuable with laundered money is one of the oldest and most traditional methods of concealing.

• Currency Exchanges– in several economies exchange of currency isn’t rigorous and might be done simply to provides area for movement of the money.

• The mixing of Funds– the most effective place to cover one thing is to stay with similar things. This manner financial organization could act as a medium of cash wash wherever funds square measure mixed with each other, and it becomes tough to tell apart between the sources of cash.


Layering Stage

In this stage, the launderers attempt to take away the path of their outlaw cash so it becomes tougher for the law enforcers to trace down the supply of cash. The layering stage includes strategies such as-

• Hard money is reincarnated as financial instruments– Once the funds are deposited within the national economy, they are used to purchase financial instruments such as bonds and securities.

• Material Assets limb with laundered cash and sold subsequently– Assets square measure bought with the outlaw funds and so they’re sold at intervals in the native market that makes it tough to trace the supply of cash. The Layering stage comes once the position stage. This stage is the most advanced because it involves separating the outlaw cash from its supply. This is often a really subtle method because it involves destroying any previous links of the funds with the initial crime.

The mixing Stage

In this stage, the money laundry is enraptured into the economy. This is often dissimilar to layering, for within the integration method detection and identification of laundered funds square measure provided through informants. The strategies employed in this stage are-

• False Loans and Front Companies– In countries wherever company secrecy laws apply, the criminal teams or people open up their corporations and use the laundered cash to fund such corporations, thus turning the funds into a legal kind.

• Property Dealings– one amongst the common practices to launder cash is the sale of property to integrate the laundered reimbursement. Several launderers open up shell corporations and obtain property through the laundered cash and later marketing them. The sale yield square measure is then shown as a legitimate supply of financial gain.

• Foreign Bank Complicity– several launderers take the assistance of foreign banks to show their black cash into white cash. Willing help of the foreign banks is protected against enabling


Types of Money laundering

This method is additionally called smurfing. During this technique, the laundered cash is shifted into little quantities and becomes deposits so as to avoid suspicion of lavation. These little sums of cash is to purchase money instruments like bearer bonds and money orders, etc.

Cash Intensive Business

Businesses obtain large sums of money for their activities, deposit it in a special account, and then deposit the laundered money in the same account, thus mixing legitimate and illegal currency. Later, it’s all claimed as legal tender.

Trade based laundering

During this technique, transaction areas are undervalued within the books to disguise the initial supply of cash.

Round Tripping

During this technique, cash is commonly deposited in offshore accounts wherever minimum records are maintained, so shipped backed as FDI.

Bank Capture

Using this method, the launderers’ UN agency buys a stake in a certain bank or financial institution, then shifts the money through the banks with few inspections.

5. Tax Amnesties- people who allow unreported assets in tax havens and money.

Anti-Money laundering Law in India

The PMLA was enacted within the year 2003 and came into force alongside incidental to Rules in July 2005. Section 3 of the PMLA stipulates that any UN agency, directly or indirectly, who makes an attempt, or assists, or might be a party in attempting, or assisting, or might be a party in attempting, to show reprehensibly obtained currency into unstained supply is guilty of cash lavation. The Act conjointly states the duty upon the money establishments and banks to verify and maintain records of all its purchasers and conjointly of all transactions. They may be asked to furnish such data to the money Intelligence Unit- Republic of India (FIU- IND) and therefore the banks and money corporations are absolutely required to furnish such data. The Director of FIU- IND may punish banks and money establishments if they fail to suit the availability of the PML Act. PMLA conjointly authorizes listed officers to hold out associate degree investigation in cases of cash lavation. They’re conjointly authorised to connect the property that has been obtained through laundered cash. PMLA envisages designation of 1 or additional courts of sessions as Special Court or Special Courts to do the offenses punishable under PMLA and offenses with that the suspect might, underneath the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, be charged at an equivalent trial. PMLA conjointly empowers the Central Government to group with the Government of the other country to stop any offense underneath PMLA or the equivalent law of the opposite country.

Development of PML Act

The Act was amended in 2012, and introduced with the change, the definition of money laundering was broadened. Currently the definition brings its range possession, acquisition, concealment of laundered cash as a criminal offense. Earlier, money-laundering crimes with the exception of great ones like coercion were preoccupied only if the cash concerned was Rs-30 large integer or higher than. With the change, the edge was removed. The PMLA was earlier amended within the year 2005 and 2009 conjointly. The 2012 change received assent in Gregorian calendar month 2013 and came into impact from Feb 2013.


Money laundering is a threat to the economy, because of the financial set-up of a rustic. An excellent deal will still be done to fight the matter of cash lavation, and plenty of economies have already established rigorous anti-money laundering laws. It’s terribly evident that money launderers are highly ingenious and inventive. They keep turning out with new ways in which to show illegitimate cash into legitimate cash. Therefore, the structure ought to be versatile enough to find and stop new themes.


Curated by Athira Albert of Kristu Jayanti College of Law, Bangalore.




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