Money Laundering

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Throughout history, America and other global economies have consistently battled for equality and fairness in their country. Many new legislations and laws have been implemented and added throughout the years to adapt to the new technological advances each market has encountered. Even so, the question of ethics has been raised weighing whether or not each new law meets the ethics in business and morality. One important obstacle that is still at the forefront of new legislation and posed for ethical evaluation is money laundering. Money laundering has survived the years through questions of morality and lawfulness by adapting to rigorous restraints and finding new ways to manifest itself in different segmentation forms of trade.

Historically, money laundering in its international form began in the 1960’s (Delston & Walls, 2009).While money laundering has been made popular throughout the years because of American Mafia scandals; a vast amount of terrorists, religious sectors, and other criminals have been actively money laundering. Most of the money being laundered today originates from insider trading, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, prostitution, people trafficking, bribery, corruption, tax evasion or misuse of public and private funds. Money laundering’s best definition is to process funds resulting in illegal or criminal activity (Canhoto, 2008). While throughout history a few insist that money laundering is not criminal, a strong majority have obviously ruled the latter because of the injustices done to people from the activities that transpire to earn the money being laundered.

With the sole purpose for money laundering for avoiding paying taxes and hiding money obtained from criminal activity, the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) was established in 1990 to “help countries combat money laundering and terrorist financing” giving special attention to “the role of financial institutions, and more recently, the physical movement across borders (Delston & Walls, 2009). This special attention has came about because of the shift in money laundering from the traditional ‘Swiss’ banks which were discreet in their banking practices, to “trade-based money laundering (TBML) to conceal and legitimize their funds, as this is a channel that remains relatively untouched by Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) efforts internationally” (Delston & Walls, 2009). This problem hurts our economy by over inflating money markets which makes inflated stock and bond markets for investments.

TBML has reestablished money laundering as a major ethical problem for the FAFT. TBML money laundering happens in a variety of ways. One common way of TBML is the misrepresentation of the price, quantity, or quality of goods sold. This process can be simple or developed into a complex financial transaction that allows its owner to mask its actual location or amount. Some other ways of TBML that have higher stakes are narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorist financing. This can include the disguising of logistical support and the most feared support and movement being weapons of mass destruction. This process has been very lucrative for the people committing these acts and remains to be a viable source of income and prosperity for different segmented groups. Obviously, having the ability to raise large amounts of cash swiftly can be very tempting to groups already committing other criminal activities. This reason can and has enticed many radical groups to weigh the options of raising capital by these means.

I believe money laundering in any form is illegal, unethical and unmoral. I also believe it should be dealt with harshly. The reason I feel this way is we live in a capitalist society where an individual has plenty opportunity to establish a legitimate business. Money laundering is mainly committed to cover up for illegal forms of money...
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