Money laundering and
terrorism ﬁnancing through
Fabian Maximilian Johannes Teichmann
Teichmann International AG, Gallen, Switzerland
Purpose –The purpose of this paper is to illustratehow criminals need to proceed to launder money and
ﬁnance terrorismthrough the use of consulting ﬁrms.
Design/methodology/approach –A qualitative content analysis of 58 semi-standardized expert
interviews with both illegal ﬁnancial services providers and prevention experts led to the identiﬁcation of
concretetechniques for money laundering and terrorism ﬁnancingthrough consulting companies.
Findings –Consulting ﬁrms couldbe considered to be “criminals’best friends”. Terrorists could eitherbuy
or set up consulting ﬁrms in reputable countries, such as Switzerland or the UK. Subsequently,they could
combine realconsulting services along with fake clients to covertheir illicit activities.
Research limitations/implications –As the ﬁndings are based on semi-standardizedinterviews, they
are limited to the 58 interviewees’perspectives.
Practical implications –The identiﬁcation of gaps in current prevention mechanisms is meant to
provide legislators, complianceofﬁcers, law enforcement agencies and intelligence ofﬁces with insights into
how criminalsﬁnance terrorism and launder money.
Originality/value –While the existingliterature focuses on simply naming areas that could play a part in
money laundering or the ﬁnancing of terrorism, this paper describes a concrete method. It takes both
preventionand criminal perspectives into account.
Keywords Money laundering, Terrorism ﬁnancing, Consulting
Paper type Research paper
Money laundering and the ﬁnancing of terrorism continue to be signiﬁcant challenges for
compliance departments, law enforcement and intelligence agencies. One issue is that
relatively little is known about exactly how money launderers and terrorist ﬁnancers act.
Presumably, onlythe less skilled ones get caught.
Consulting companies are sophisticated tools for both money laundering and terrorism
ﬁnancing. However, they require a certain expertise. Setting up and running companies in
suitable jurisdictions without raising suspicion from either tax departments or banks’
compliance ofﬁcers can be rather challenging. Hence, this article examines how criminals
operate such consultingﬁrms to minimise their risk of getting caught.
The existing literature primarily focuses on organisations and mechanisms that aim to
prevent both money laundering and ﬁnancing of terrorism. The latter is often referredto as
“reverse money laundering”, and hence the two of them are frequently analysed together
No external research funding has been received for this study.
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.22 No. 1, 2019
© Emerald Publishing Limited
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