Money laundering is referred as to make to proceeds of the crime appear respectable. The whole world is now taking serious actions against money laundering.
In United Kingdom, the parliament has passed money laundering act. This act has been influenced on different parliament acts. These are:
Drugs Trafficking offences Act 1986
Criminal Justice Act 1993
Terrorism Act 2000
Anti Terrorism Crime Security Act 2001
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Money laundering is based on different crimes. It is just the end form of different crimes. Some criminal offences are mentioned below which are included in Proceeds of crime Act:
Laundering: Acquisition, possession or use of the proceeds of crime
Failure to report: If somebody fails to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering then he will be liable for crime.
Tipping off: Somebody who disclose information to any person who is involved in some crime then he is also liable and contributor in crime.
For example a bank manager who see any illegal transaction then he should declare this information to money laundering reporting officer, before the transaction took place or right after the transaction. Otherwise he will be investigated and failure to disclose will lead him to crime.
There are three major phases in money laundering which are mentioned below:
Change the initial disposal of the illegal activity into legal business activity.
It means to put different layers to hide the original proceedings.
After placement and putting different layers, the money has the appearance of legal funds.
Accountants can play a vital role in reducing the chances of money laundering. They have to be very careful while preparing accounts of company because accountants are liable to disclose any illegal activity inside the company. Now accountants have to be followed many regulations which are set by IASB. It is mentioned in these regulations that accountants will be asked of any suspected transaction.
If somebody has been involved in the above offences then he may have to face serious penalties. The British Law sets out the following penalties in relation to money laundering:
1. Person who is directly related to money laundering can be penalized 14 years imprisonment and/or fine.
2. A person who is responsible for failure to report information may be given 5 years imprisonment.
3. 5 years imprisonment is given for tipping off a suspected launderer; it means suspected launderer must not be alerted.