Money Laundering: Everybody’s Doing It…

According to Business Insider, when it comes to money laundering, everybody’s doing it:

“From corrupt politicians and drug cartels to tax cheats and alimony deadbeats, more or less everybody’s doing it.”

While I think it’s a stretch to say that “everybody” is laundering money, I will say that a whole lot of people globally are doing it, to the point that I’m aware of not just one, but several ways in which it is possible.

The only reason I know this is because the topic comes up in my Hunt for Jack Reacher Series, including my latest thriller, Jack the Reaper.

In case you are interested, purely for entertainment, here are some of the ways criminals launder money:

  • Bitcoins are a decentralized, virtual currency that can be used online anonymously. Individuals have been known to transfer millions of dollars to bitcoins, which they can then spend or invest digitally without risk of being traced.


  • Gambling. Macau, China, for example, is known as a great place to launder money. You can turn in your yuan for casino chips, head to the casino, which there are plenty of in Macau, and at the casino trade in your chips for a currency of your choice. The accountants will mark the money as gambling winnings.

  • Shell companies look like businesses on paper, but are really nothing more than an official-sounding name. Criminals can use the names of shell companies on paper to make transactions look legitimate.

  • Have the money cross multiple borders, the faster the better. Certain banks and lawyers make a living assisting with this.

  • “Smurfs” are criminals who are willing to take large sums of money and deposit them in small amounts over weeks, months, or years.

  • Hawala is a banking system whereby an individual has a broker, or hawaladar. When Person A wants to send money to Person B, Person A gives that money to his local hawaladar. Then, Person B gets that amount from his own local hawaladar, potentially on the other side of the globe. The hawaladars will later settle up with each other separately, on something of an honor system.

  • Use the extra sum of money to buy diamonds. You can transport diamonds across borders more easily than cash. Then, sell the diamonds and voila, you have your sum of money again.

  • Cash businesses like nightclubs, car washes, and restaurants are relatively easy ways to slip extra cash into the system. The downside, of course, is that the business owner still has to pay taxes on the illegal money.

  • Transfer the funds to anonymous prepaid debit cards. 10 cards holding $5,000 each looks much less suspicious going through an airport than $50,000 cash.

To learn how money laundering plays a role in my action-packed new thriller, Jack the Reaper, CLICK HERE.
The book is available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook formats.

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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One Response to Money Laundering: Everybody’s Doing It…

  1. John Kuvakas October 10, 2017 at 4:29 am #

    Thanks for all the research and insight, Diane–at least I hope that’s where this came from rather than personal experience 😉

    The amazing thing about all this is how inventive folks can get while trying to circumvent the law.

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