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Money Laundering Prevention: Deterring, Detecting, and Resolving Financial Fraud by Jonathan E. Turner

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Chapter 4

Going Global

Taking Money around the World

People move money offshore for a variety of reasons. Nearly all boil down to the need for privacy, security, and the ability to access the funds after the perpetrator flees. Given that people are trying to hide cash, a number of governments have made it their policy to help them in this process. Some of the favored locations include:

  • Cayman Islands
  • Bahamas
  • Panama
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Monaco
  • Luxemburg
  • Switzerland
  • Isle of Mann
  • Malta
  • Cyprus

When selecting an offshore location, a variety of factors are considered, such as the strength of the secrecy laws and the ease of access from the perpetrator's home or comfort zone; that being those places that seem safe based on history, religion, ethnicity, or family connection. When selecting on offshore location, elements considered often include local or business languages spoken, creature comforts, political climate, livability, and, most important, the likelihood of extradition being facilitated by the local authorities.

Assuming that the perpetrator commits no crimes while within their borders, many countries will happily turn a blind eye to criminal and possibly criminal acts that have occurred elsewhere. And to encourage cash-strong persons to consider investing in their country, many governments have passed various tax laws to encourage the migration of funds. These include tax exemptions on foreign or investment income and payment of “past taxes” in return for resident alien or ...

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