This book surveys the development of laws surrounding the crime of money laundering and the associated changes in the anti-money laundering (AML) industry. The policy of attempting to deal with crime by attacking its financial products started in the arena of drugs, but quickly moved to organised crime, terrorism, corruption and tax. Now the focus has shifted once again to organised crime and to immigration. In the wake of the failure of the ‘war on drugs' a huge amount of money is now being spent on a global surveillance and reporting system, and we do not know whether the system works or not.
What Went Wrong With Money Laundering Law? documents the events which, taken independently, could each be seen as rational responses to specific problems and as incremental adjustments to the focus of the law. Taken together, however, it is demonstrated that they have led to significant changes in the law and to the current situation. Underlying the entire AML industry is the crime of money laundering, which, having been devised more to provide a trigger for the reporting machinery than to describe and condemn a particular category of harmful behaviour, is now being used in a far wider range of cases than is appropriate. This book will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of criminal and financial law, socio-legal studies and criminology.