Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 15, Issue 2–3, pp 146–163 | Cite as

Removing excuses in money laundering



Criminals can use financial facilitators to invest their ill-gotten gains without drawing attention to themselves. These facilitators are experts at getting round anti-money laundering procedures. Because of their expertise and unique capabilities they play an important role in criminal networks. It therefore stands to reason that law enforcement focuses on them. That focus often translates in prosecution when laws are broken. However, what can we do to prevent financial experts in breaking the law? In this article the focus lies on the method of removing excuses. This technique is employed in every day crimes but has not been put to the test in the context of organized crime. Interviews with police officers show that the technique of removing excuses could work under certain conditions. However, it turns out that an important differentiation lies in the sort of activities financial facilitators undertake. Not all financial activities take place in the legal financial-economic system. Instead of distinguishing between the three classical phases of money laundering (placement, layering, integration), a two-pronged focus on those who are involved in cash based transactions and those who construct smokescreens on paper is proposed.


Money laundering Situational crime prevention Removing excuses Facilitators Financial investigation Organized crime 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Crime Squad of the Netherlands Police AgencyDriebergenNetherlands

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