The Bank of Guyana (BOG) Supervision Guideline No.13 states that money laundering means: “A person commits the offence of money laundering if he knowingly or having reasonable grounds to believe that any property in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceed of crime…”
It should be noted that “money laundering process” is continuous since illicit money is introduced frequently.
The BOG Supervision Guideline No. 13 also states that there are three stages of money laundering though other methods maybe used. The stages are:
1. Placement: this first stage is when “dirty money or unlawful cash proceed” enters the financial system in the form of deposits. The “dirty money” is used to purchase cheques and bank drafts.
2. Layering: this second stage refers to “the movement of money often in a series of complex transactions.” These transactions often cross a number of jurisdictions which is done “to disguise the audit trail and provide the appearance of legitimacy.” An example of complex transactions is “purchasing of investment instrument, insurance contract, wire transfers, money order, travellers’ cheques and letter of credits.”
3. Integration: the final stage refers to “dirty money” that becomes “legitimate wealth.” Further, “dirty money re-enters the legitimate economy by way of investment in real estate, luxury assets and business ventures until the laundered funds are eventually disbursed back to the criminal.”
Sharmini Rampersaud, AICA hopes to enlighten readers about money laundering especially in Guyana. Feel free to send her feedback at sharmini.rampersaud@ gmail.com