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QUESTION

What is anti-money laundering?

ANSWER

Anti-money laundering (AML) refers to a set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to curb the practice of generating income through illegal means.

In most cases, money launderers hide their actions through a series of steps that make it look like the money that was generated through the illegal activities was earned legitimately.

To counter this, AML regulations require institutions issuing credit or allowing customers open accounts to complete due diligence procedures to ensure that these institutions are not aiding in money-laundering activities. The onus to perform these procedures is on the institutions, not on the criminals or the government. Some examples of money laundering can be market manipulation, trade of illegal goods, corruption of public funds and evasion of tax, as well as all activities that aim to conceal these deeds. Financial institutions are expected to comply with AML laws, make sure that clients are aware of these laws and guide people with them without prior active government orders. As a result, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was formed to maintain and promote the ethical and economic advantages of a legally credible and stable financial market, to combat against money laundering.

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