Money laundering is sometimes wrongly regarded as an activity that is associated only with organised crime and drug trafficking. It is not. It occurs whenever any person deals with another person's direct or indirect benefit from crime. The term ‘money laundering’ is in fact a misnomer. Often it is not money that is being laundered but other forms of property that directly or indirectly represent benefit from crime. Any form of tangible or intangible property is capable of representing another person’s benefit from crime.
Traditionally, money laundering has been described as a process that takes place in three stages as follows:
Placement – The stage at which property (usually in the form of cash) is introduced into the financial system;
Layering – The stage at which the property undergoes a series of transactions, thus concealing its origin and making it appear to be legitimate;
Integration – The stage at which the laundered money is utilised for the benefit of criminals within the legitimate economy.
In reality, the three stages often overlap and the benefit from many crimes including most financial crimes does not need to be ‘placed’ into the financial system. Licensees in Mauritius are most likely to be exposed at the layering and integration stages of the money laundering process.
Money laundering is a crime that is most often associated with banking and money remittance services. Whilst banks are often an essential part of successful laundering schemes, management companies and their client companies, including trust administration and related services that they offer are also highly vulnerable to abuse by money launderers. This is because of the opportunities that they present to conceal and disguise ownership and interest in