Report

The illegal movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments: typologies and regulatory responses

29 Oct 2010
Description

In order to avoid detection, criminals often retain the proceeds of their crimes in cash or use bearer negotiable instruments in connection with their money laundering activities.

As part of global regulatory measures designed to minimise risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism, financial institutions and other designated businesses in most countries are required to report certain financial transactions to government regulators. This has increased the probability that transactions involving the proceeds of crime will be detected and reported officially.

In order to avoid such detection, serious criminals may simply retain the proceeds of their crimes in cash or use bearer negotiable instruments in connection with their money laundering activities. Although not a new concern, the illegal movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments across borders is likely to continue and although such movements are now regulated, criminals will continue to devise new strategies to circumvent regulatory controls.

This paper by the Australian Institute of Criminology explores the ways in which covert movements of currency and bearer negotiable instruments currently take place and reviews the regulatory measures that exist to address such activities in Australia. Increased detection and enforcement action, coupled with intensive data collection and analysis, are likely to be the most effective ways in which to address this way of laundering the proceeds of crime.

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2010
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