Money laundering can be a complex process. It
involves three different, and sometimes overlapping, stages:
Placement involves physically placing illegally obtained money into the financial system or the retail economy. Money is most vulnerable to detection and seizure during placement.
Layering involves separating the illegally obtained money from its criminal source by layering it through a series of financial transactions, which makes it difficult to trace the money back to its original source.
Integration involves moving the proceeds into a seemingly legitimate form. Integration may include the purchase of automobiles, businesses, real estate, etc.
An important factor connecting the three stages of this process is the "paper trail" generated by financial transactions. Criminals try to avoid leaving this “paper trail” by avoiding reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
One way money launderers avoid reporting and recordkeeping requirements is by "structuring" transactions, coercing or bribing employees not to file proper reports or complete required records, or by establishing apparently legitimate "front" businesses to open accounts or establish preferred customer relationships. In recent years, more countries have implemented laws to combat money laundering. Financial service regulators and enforcement agencies around the world are working to improve communications and share information in anti-money laundering efforts.
One has to understand international initiatives, as well as efforts the government has taken to combat money laundering in Europe world over. You will also find ways you can help combat money laundering and make your community — and your country — a safer place to live and work.