Recent trends in money
laundering and terrorism
Fabian Maximilian Teichmann
Teichmann International AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Purpose –This paper aims to investigatehow criminals launder money and ﬁnance terrorism throughthe
Design/methodology/approach –In total, 70 interviews were conducted with criminals and white-
collar crime preventionexperts, whose responses were subjected to qualitative contentanalysis. Based on the
ﬁndings,a quantitative survey of 200 complianceofﬁcers was carried out.
Findings –The interviews and survey revealed concrete techniques of laundering money and ﬁnancing
terrorism through the ﬁnancial services industry and its afﬁliates. Evidently, the compliance mechanisms
aimed at preventingmoney laundering and terrorism ﬁnancing can beeasily circumvented.
Research limitations/implications –This study’sﬁndings are limited to the perspectives of 70
interviewees. Hence, it is possiblethat a study with a larger sample conducted in different countries or at a
differenttime could have yielded different results.
Practical implications –Identifying the concrete methodsof laundering money and ﬁnancing terrorism
should provideboth compliance ofﬁcers and legislators withvaluable insights into criminal activity. By better
understanding the speciﬁc steps taken by criminals, compliance ofﬁcers should be able to more effectively
combat both moneylaundering and terrorism ﬁnancing.
Originality/value –While prior literature focuses on the organizations and mechanisms involved in
combating money laundering and terrorism ﬁnancing, this paper instead explores how criminals avoid
detectionby taking into account existing compliance mechanisms and criminalperspectives.
Keywords Terrorism ﬁnancing, Compliance, Money laundering, White-collar crime, Criminals
Paper type Research paper
Globally, the prevention of both money laundering and terrorism ﬁnancing continues to
dominate the activities of ﬁnancial institutions’compliance departments. Despite massive
compliance efforts, neither phenomenon has yet been eliminated. This paper investigates
recent trends in money laundering and terrorism ﬁnancing. In particular, it focuses on how
criminals circumvent the compliance procedures implemented by ﬁnancial service
providers. The aim is to provide both compliance ofﬁcers and legislators with new
perspectives, which shouldhelp them anticipate illicit behavior and, hence, more effectively
combat ﬁnancial crime.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which coordinates global efforts against
ﬁnancial crime, has conducted extensive research on both money laundering and terrorism
ﬁnancing (Alexander, 2001, p. 231). However, most of this research relies upon information
obtained from law enforcement and (ﬁnancial)intelligence agencies but does not refer to the
methods used by money launderers or terrorism ﬁnancers, who have not been caught yet.
This paper aims to add to the existing knowledge base by taking both criminals’and
prevention experts’perspectives into account.
Journalof Financial Regulation
Vol.27 No. 1, 2019
© Emerald Publishing Limited
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: