We are all struggling hard to make ends meet. It is exactly the reason we leave the comfort of our homes every morning and even night for some. We are looking for the dime! This precious commodity adds tones of spice to the otherwise boring life. That’s right, money makes life beautiful.
This being the case, it is no surprise that the human race has gone to extremes all in an effort to make some extra coin. Robberies, bribery, drug trafficking, terrorist activities name it. These are illegal activities and will most definitely raise ‘dirty’ money. These law breakers are aware of this and so they don’t stop at this level, they perform a ‘ritual’ to cleanse these proceeds. This cleansing is called money laundering.
Money laundering can be loosely defined as the process of making illegal money appear legit. The main objective of this activity is to enable the bad guys spend their money without suspicion and with less follow up from the relevant authorities. Money laundering will concern bulk amounts of cash earned from illegal activities such as drug trafficking.
It is almost impossible to talk of money laundering without mentioning financial institutions. The banks, insurance companies, trustees and any other legal entity that deals with money, be it in bulk or bits. This, however, is not to say that non-financial institutions are unaffected.
Why Take the Risk of Laundering?
You might be asking yourself, why launder money? I mean why not just go ahead and spend it anyway? Well, listen up, take this scenario, you are working for some firm that pays you lets say £20 per month. Then you get involved in some sort of deal that’s not clean and it gives you £100,000 in the same month. In your conscience you know this is way out of normality. There is no way you go depositing £100,000 in a bank account that is accustomed to £20 per month. On the other hand, you know how unsafe it is to stay with such amounts of liquid cash. Somehow you got to get this money in a financial institution. You got to clean this money.
At this point, you look for avenues of getting your cash flowing maybe bit by bit or in bulk amounts with an attached explanation that will not raise eyebrows. Money laundering has landed many financial institutions like the BPA BANK into scandals. This happens when a financial institution is caught up in allegations surrounding laundering. Truth is, a bank could be the best channel for a launder to have his sources disguised. It is also the most appropriate to channel bulk monies from one country to the other. This is especially so because many money launderers will prefer to keep their wealth in foreign banks or overseas.
BPA bank is alleged to have had a major role in laundering money for criminals. One can only imagine that if this was clearly the case as BPA Bank Andorra Class Action relays it, and then the top management must have received bribes to launder from these goons.
Effects of Money Laundering
When a professional receives bribes to launder, his integrity remains questionable. This is what happened with the BPA bank senior management. Immediately the allegations surfaced, the bank’s board and chair got fired. Imagine what happens to such professions, I don’t want to imagine anyone would consider hiring them after all the negative publicity.
No government will sit around and watch the news of laundering suspicion without taking action. This is where the law makers bite. Andorra’s BPA suffered seizure after the laundering claims.
When Spain, a neighbor to the landlocked Andorra learnt of the allegations, she seized BPA’s branch in the country. This is not such good news for a country that values it sovereignty. By extension, laundering, especially by a country’s institution, damages the country’s reputation and relationship with other countries.
One big bank will normally have other correspondent banks all over the world. Some of these correspondents could be part and parcel of laundering deals. On the other hand, there is that correspondent who knows nothing of such dirty dues. For instance, HSBC holdings had a banking relationship with BPA Bank. This institution, together with others that are based in America, provided BPA with access to the American financial system. When these claims came to light, HSBC withdrew its relationship and other correspondents pledged to take appropriate measures.
Until the air is cleared, a thick layer of suspicion hangs in there. Whether the BPA Andorra’s top management collaborated in the Russian deals still remains to be proved. Either way, the effects this is going to have on the bank cannot be underestimated. With allegations of up to three managers in a single bank being mentioned in corrupt deals, this is such a blow. You can check out inaf.ad to read more on this issue.
Caught Up In Laundering? What’s Next?
That an institution you head gets caught in laundering can be such a hard pill to swallow. But then, this is no end of the world. Your investments and most likely that of many shareholders hangs in the balance. You have got to fight for it. Save what you still can.
|.||Consider clearing your name with the relevant legal bodies|
|.||Fire corrupt staff and ensure your code of ethics at work is followed to the latter|
|.||Sensitize all staff on money laundering and how to deal with such situations|
|.||Constantly revise all the work policies and ensure they are adhered to|