The Role of Banking Sector in the Prevention of Money Laundering in Bangladesh

Chapter One Introduction 1. 0 INTRODUCTION Besides of development of Economic activities, monetary related crimes are also increasing in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Almost in each country illegal transaction of money has been increased & these illegal money has been also used on various illegal activities. Money laundering process refers to illegal receipt or transfer of fund from one place to another. This process involves not only the banking system of the country but also non-banking system.
Bangladesh is moving towards an open economy with a small-magnetized sector by liberalizing the financial and economic policies. However, the money laundering mechanisms are creating problem for a country like Bangladesh. Bangladesh Bank as the Central bank of Bangladesh Supervise all the banking and non-banking financial transactions on behalf of Bangladesh Government. Money laundering process is a great obstacle to the execution of monetary policy adopted by Bangladesh bank to stable the economy of the country.
To prevent money laundering, money laundering prevention bill 2002 was passed in the National Assembly of Bangladesh on 5 April 2002 and Gazette Notification was made on 7 April 2002. And Bangladesh Bank has been designated to act as the main preventive agency. Money Laundering has serious adverse effect on Economical, Political & Social condition of a country. It increases unequal distribution of income and as a result, the employment level, output level of the country, price stability as well as economic development and growth can be hampered.
So it is immediately required to prevent it. I believe it is a matter of great opportunity for me to study on this topic, as Money laundering, is a manifestation and a facilitator of organized crime, and has attracted increasing interest in our country. Due to money laundering process, desirable investment of the country cannot be done, national income declines and economic growth of the country hampers. 1. Background of Money Laundering
The mafia mobster Al Capone is most often credited with coining term “money laundering” because he used investments in coin-operated Laundromats to disguise or “wash” the millions he made from bootlegging and other illegal enterprises during the Prohibition in the US-the banning of alcoholic drinks in the 20th century. It is also said that the term “laundering” is used because, years ago, the cash proceeds (in U. S. dollars) from drug sales were actually washed with soap and water to appear old and worn. Launderers would then go to the Federal Reserve Bank and exchange the “laundered” bills in for new bills.
Along with the new bills came a fed receipt, which served to support the “legitimate” origin of the cash. The scam was finally identified when someone at the Fed realized that the serial numbers on the bills indicated that they should not be as old and worn as they appeared to be. The term first appeared in newspapers reporting the Watergate scandal in the US in 1973 and in judicial/legal contest in the US in 1982. Whilst the term “money laundering” was coined in the 20th century, it has been going on for several thousand years.
The history of money laundering is interwoven with the history of trade and of banking. In 1986, the U. S. became the first country in the world to criminalize the “laundering” of the proceeds of criminal activity when it passed the U. S. money laundering law. The silk road which scholars say first became a real link around 100 BC, ran for 12,000 kilometers and linked some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen – the Chinese, Mongolian, Indian, Persian, Greek, Byzantine, Mesopotamian and Egyptian – transporting goods, people, ideas, religions and Money.
Chinese inventions like gunpowder and paper first traveled to Europe in this manner. Along with many other things, Syrian jugglers and acrobats, cosmetics, silver, gold, amber, ivory, carpets, perfume and glass from Europe, Central Asia, Arabia and Africa traveled to the east. It lasted until the 15th century when newly discovered sea routes to Asia opened up. Traditional method of moving money evolved before Western banking became established in the region protecting early merchants along the Silk Road against robbery.
In ancient China it was known as “fei qian” or “flying coins”. The system spread throughout the world – to other Asian regions, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, eastern and southern Africa, Europe and North and South America – following immigration patterns. These traditional money transfer systems are called as Chop, Hawala, Hundi, etc. 1970-The US Congress enacted the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in October 1970 following increasing reports of people bringing bags full of illegally – obtained cash into banks for deposit.
The BSA is simply a reporting and record-keeping statute. Although willful violations of its terms are a crime; it does not criminalize money laundering as such. BSA requires banks –retain financial details, -report cash transactions over $ 10,000/-. Thus in 1986, the U. S. became the first country in the world to criminalize the “laundering” of the proceeds of criminal activity. Thus made money laundering a crime in its own right, and strengthened the BSA in several respects, most importantly by prohibiting “structuring”. 990 – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) created by the US Treasury on April 25, initially to focus on the detection of financial crimes by providing analytical support to law enforcement investigations. In 1994, the agency would be given BSA regulatory responsibilities. 1992 – Annunzio-Wylie Money Laundering Act amended the BSA in several respects. Perhaps most important, required any financial institution, and its officers, directors, employees and agents, “to report any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation. The Annunzio –Wylie Act, require all financial institutions to put in place, not only BSA compliance programs, but also anti-money laundering programs. At a minimum, the programs would be required to include: 1) The development of internal anti-money laundering policies, procedures and controls; 2) The designation of a compliance officer; 3) An ongoing employee training 4) An independent audit functions to test the program. At first U. S. A. has taken initiative to money laundering but now most of the countries of the world are aware about it. 2. Origin of the Report
This Research Paper has been prepared for the partial fulfillment of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Programme. For this purpose honorable teacher and supervisor Mr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Head of the Department of Business Administration, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet asked to submit a proposal. After discussing with him about various issues of money laundering I have submitted a proposal on “The Role of Banking Sector in the Prevention of Money Laundering in Bangladesh ” was submitted and then the final research paper is prepared. 3.
Objective of the Paper The objective of the research paper is to help the students be familiar with how the theoretical knowledge obtained in the degree program can be applied in practice. Generally research is either problem identifying or problem solving tool. The objectives of the study are as follows: – 1. To understand the theoretical concepts of money laundering. 2. To show the present scenario of anti money laundering issues in Bangladesh. 3. To observe the policy development and maintenance by Bangladesh Bank as a supervisor of anti money laundering activities. 4.
To figure out core procedures that Bangladesh Bank adopts to supervise the anti money laundering activities. 5. To comment on the existing system and recommend for improvement. 1. 4 Methodology Certain methods and techniques is utilized to collect data for this research paper. This study is mainly based on empirical as well as theoretical analysis. Collected data and information is tabulated, processed and analyzed critically in order to make the report informative. Both primary and secondary sources of data are chosen as effective means of collecting data relevant for this paper. . To prepare first part of the research paper secondary sources were used. Publications and database within Bangladesh Bank and others commercial bank helped me to get data about money laundering and its prevention. Various types of circular of Bangladesh Bank regarding money laundering exist in different commercial banks. This paper also required study of annual report, policy related circulars, and service rules, administrative circulars and other related papers. To get more information, I have also collected some books about money laundering and searched website. 2.
Interview of the personnel from people within these relevant organizations was the basic technique to collect primary data. Informal discussion with executive connected with the planning and control works in the various levels of the Bangladesh Bank was needed. To collect data and to analyze these properly I have to be interviewed face to face with bank officials. . 5. Justification of the Research To prevent money laundering is very complex task especially in a country like Bangladesh where most of the citizens are illiterate and their economic bad condition inspired them to involve in illegal activities.
This increases economic misery of the have-nots and concentrated wealth in the hands of 10% of the total population. The scope and scale of money laundering has increased over time and the process of addressing the problem has become complex because of the global nature of the problem. So cooperation among the law enforcing agencies, awareness of the overall people of the country about its adverse effects, government strictness to avoid political interferences, all these are required to prevent it, that is, creation of wareness against money laundering is of highest importance at the moment. After about three months research with various money-laundering issues with Bangladesh Bank and Commercial Banks this paper is intended to fulfill course requirements of Masters of Business Administration. Bangladesh Bank, which is the authorized Bank to monitor all the banking and non-banking financial institutional activities, so I have worked on it in details. Beside this I have studied other operational areas of the commercial bank, which have enriched the level of my knowledge. . 6 Limitations Though this report provides the insights of Money Laundering in Bangladesh and the mechanisms by which Bangladesh Bank takes steps to prevent Money Laundering, it has some limitations as well. As the activities of money laundering are illegal, all of work is going on behind the sight of general public; it is hard to find out the adequate & real data. The organization on which was studied is the Central Bank of BANGLADESH, which is not a private or public bank of Bangladesh.
The main limitation that faced during conducting the study was lack of access to information considered confidential by employees of central bank based on their policy and strategies. Chapter Two 2. 1 Brief History of Money Laundering The mafia mobster Al Capone is most often credited with coining term “money laundering” because he used investments in coin-operated Laundromats to disguise or “wash” the millions he made from bootlegging and other illegal enterprises during the Prohibition in the US-the banning of alcoholic drinks in the 20th century.
It is also said that the term “laundering” is used because, years ago, the cash proceeds (in U. S. dollars) from drug sales were actually washed with soap and water to appear old and worn. Launderers would then go to the Federal Reserve Bank and exchange the “laundered” bills in for new bills. Along with the new bills came a fed receipt, which served to support the “legitimate” origin of the cash. The scam was finally identified when someone at the Fed realized that the serial numbers on the bills indicated that they should not be as old and worn as they appeared to be.
The term first appeared in newspapers reporting the Watergate scandal in the US in 1973 and in judicial/legal contest in the US in 1982. Whilst the term “money laundering” was coined in the 20th century, it has been going on for several thousand years. It is said that the abuse of Chinese merchants and others by oppressive regimes and despotic rulers led them to find ways to hide their wealth, including ways of moving it around without it being identified and confiscated. Money laundering in this sense was prevalent 4000 years before Christ.
Many minorities in countries down the ages and around the world have taken steps to preserve wealth from the rulers- either from blatant confiscation or from taxation and, indeed, from a combination of both, who have targeted them simply because of their beliefs or colour. It is happening even today. And, of course from those seeking to enforce judgments in civil cases or to follow the money that results from other crime. The history of money laundering is interwoven with the history of trade and of banking. In 1986, the U. S. ecame the first country in the world to criminalize the “laundering” of the proceeds of criminal activity when it passed the U. S. money laundering law. 2. 2 The Silk Road – Once World’s main commercial artery The silk road which scholars say first became a real link around 100 BC, ran for 12,000 kilometers and linked some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen – the Chinese, Mongolian, Indian, Persian, Greek, Byzantine, Mesopotamian and Egyptian – transporting goods, people, ideas, religions and Money. Heading west were porcelain, furs, spices, gems and other exotic products of Asia.
Chinese inventions like gunpowder and paper first traveled to Europe in this manner. Along with many other things, Syrian jugglers and acrobats, cosmetics, silver, gold, amber, ivory, carpets, perfume and glass from Europe, Central Asia, Arabia and Africa traveled to the east. It lasted until the 15th century when newly discovered sea routes to Asia opened up. Traditional method of moving money evolved before Western banking became established in the region protecting early merchants along the Silk Road against robbery. In ancient China it was known as “fei qian” or “flying coins”.
The system spread throughout the world – to other Asian regions, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, eastern and southern Africa, Europe and North and South America – following immigration patterns. These traditional money transfer systems are called as Chop, Hawala, Hundi, etc. 2. 3 History of Criminalizing Money Laundering 1970-The US Congress enacted the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in October 1970 following increasing reports of people bringing bags full of illegally – obtained cash into banks for deposit. The BSA is simply a reporting and record-keeping statute.
Although willful violations of its terms are a crime, it does not criminalize money laundering as such. BSA requires banks –retain financial details, -report cash transactions over $ 10,000/-. 1974 –although the BSA is accepted now, its constitutionality was originally challenged in the courts by elements of the banking community and some civil libertarians. BSA was challenged on a number of grounds. In California Bankers Assn . v. Shultz, 416 U. S. 21 (1974) Supreme Court rejected claims that various parts of the BSA violated constitutional rights. 986 – Growth, seriousness of the problem of Money Laundering, and of widespread non-compliance with the BSA, led to the enactment of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986. Thus in 1986, the U. S. became the first country in the world to criminalize the “laundering” of the proceeds of criminal activity. Thus made money laundering a crime in its own right, and strengthened the BSA in several respects, most importantly by prohibiting “structuring”. 1990 – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) created by the US Treasury on April 25, initially to focus on the detection of financial rimes by providing analytical support to law enforcement investigations. In 1994, the agency would be given BSA regulatory responsibilities. 1992 – Annunzio-Wylie Money Laundering Act amended the BSA in several respects. Perhaps most important, required any financial institution, and its officers, directors, employees and agents, “to report any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation. ” The Annunzio –Wylie Act, require all financial institutions to put in place, not only BSA compliance programs, but also anti-money laundering programs. At a minimum, the programs would be required to include: ) the development of internal anti-money laundering policies, procedures and controls; 2) the designation of a compliance officer; 3) an ongoing employee training 4) an independent audit functions to test the program. 2. 4 Why Money Laundering is done? Criminals engage in money laundering for three main reasons: First, money represents the lifeblood of the organization that engages in criminal conduct for financial gain because it covers operating expenses, replenishes inventories, purchases the services of corrupt officials to escape detection and further the interests of the illegal enterprise, and pays for an extravagant lifestyle.
To spend money in these ways, criminals must make the money they derived illegally appear legitimate. Second, a trail of money from an offense to criminals can become incriminating evidence. Criminals must obscure or hide the source of their wealth or alternatively disguise ownership or control to ensure that illicit proceeds are not used to prosecute them. Third, the proceeds from crime often become the target of investigation and seizure. To shield ill- gotten gains from suspicion and protect them from seizure, criminals must conceal their existence or, alternatively, make them ook legitimate. 2. 5 Why we must combat Money Laundering Money laundering has potentially devastating economic, security, and social consequences. Money laundering is a process vital to making crime worthwhile. It provides the fuel for drug dealers, smugglers, terrorists, illegal arms dealers, corrupt public officials, and others to operate and expand their criminal enterprises. This drives up the cost of government due to the need for increased law enforcement and health care expenditures (for example, for treatment of drug addicts) to combat the serious consequences that result.
Crime has become increasingly international in scope, and the financial aspects of crime have become more complex due to rapid advances in technology and the globalization of the financial services industry. Money laundering diminishes government tax revenue and therefore indirectly harms honest taxpayers. It also makes government tax collection more difficult. This loss of revenue generally means higher tax rates than would normally be the case if the untaxed proceeds of crime were legitimate. We also pay more taxes for public works expenditures inflated by corruption.
And those of us who pay taxes pay more because of those who evade taxes. So we all experience higher costs of living than we would if financial crime—including money laundering—were prevented. Money laundering distorts asset and commodity prices and leads to misallocation of resources. For financial institutions it can lead to an unstable liability base and to unsound asset structures thereby creating risks of monetary instability and even systemic crises. The loss of credibility and investor confidence that such crises can bring has the potential of destabilizing financial systems, particularly in smaller economies.
One of the most serious microeconomic effects of money laundering is felt in the private sector. Money launderers often use front companies, which co-mingle the proceeds of illicit activity with legitimate funds, to hide the ill-gotten gains. These front companies have access to substantial illicit funds, allowing them to subsidize front company products and services at levels well below market rates. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for legitimate business to compete against front companies with subsidized funding, a situation that can result in the crowding out of private sector business by criminal organizations.
No one knows exactly how much “dirty” money flows through the world’s financial system every year, but the amounts involved are undoubtedly huge. The International Money Fund has estimated that the magnitude of money laundering is between 2 and 5 percent of world gross domestic product, or at least USD 800 billion to USD1. 5 trillion. In some countries, these illicit proceeds dwarf government budgets, resulting in a loss of control of economic policy by governments. Indeed, in some cases, the sheer magnitude of the accumulated asset base of laundered proceeds can be used to corner markets — or even small economies.
Among its other negative socioeconomic effects, money laundering transfers economic power from the market, government, and citizens to criminals. Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of the economic power that accrues to criminals from money laundering has a corrupting effect on all elements of society. The social and political costs of laundered money are also serious as laundered money may be used to corrupt national institutions. Bribing of officials and governments undermines the moral fabric in society, and, by weakening collective ethical standards, corrupts our democratic institutions.
When money laundering goes unchecked, it encourages the underlying criminal activity from which such money is generated. Nations cannot afford to have their reputations and financial institutions tarnished by an association with money laundering, especially in today’s global economy. Money laundering erodes confidence in financial institutions and the underlying criminal activity — fraud, counterfeiting, narcotics trafficking, and corruption — weaken the reputation and standing of any financial institution. Actions by banks to prevent money laundering are not only a regulatory requirement, but also an act of self- interest.
A bank tainted by money laundering accusations from regulators, law enforcement agencies, or the press risk likely prosecution, the loss of their good market reputation, and damaging the reputation of the country. It is very difficult and requires significant resources to rectify a problem that could be prevented with proper anti-money-laundering controls. It is generally recognized that effective efforts to combat money laundering cannot be carried out without the co-operation of financial institutions, their supervisory authorities and the law enforcement agencies.
Accordingly, in order to address the concerns and obligations of these three parties, these Guidance Notes were drawn up. 2. 6 Techniques in Money Laundering There are diversified method of money laundering which ranges from the purchase and resale of a luxury item (e. g. a house, car, or jewelry) to passing money through a complex web of legitimate businesses and ‘shall’ companies (i. e. those companies that primarily exist only as named legal entities without any trading business activities). Basically 3 stages, which may comprise numerous transactions by the launderers-
Placement—the physical disposal of the initial proceeds (derived from illegal activity). 1. Breaking up of large amounts of cash into smaller amounts. 2. Depositing the cash in bank and subsequently transferring the same amount from one bank to another, preferably, in abroad. 3. Exchanging into a foreign currency and subsequently conversion into local currency. 4. Cash purchase of single premium insurance policy or other investment. 5. Cash purchase of costly items like jewelry, diamond, car, aircraft, and boats etc as an alternatives to cash. 6.
Injecting the cash in business like hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, bookmakers, travel agency, taxi firm etc. which handle considerable cash in day-to-day operation. Layering—creation of complex layers of financial transactions for disguising the audit trail and provide secrecy. 1. Purchase & sale of securities and commodities via brokers. 2. Conversion into monetary instruments like BCD, TC, BONDs. 3. Electronic funds transfer-very frequently. 4. Making deposit in outstation bank branches or overseas banking system. 5. Sale & purchase of material assets between some fictitious persons/associates.
Integration – the laundered proceeds are set back into the economy in such a way that they re-enter the financial system appearing as normal business funds/legal money. Identification of illicit source becomes next to impossible. 1. Falsification (over/under invoicing) of invoicing/export. 2. Deployment of fund in ‘shell’ company and recoup the as legitimate profit. 3. Taking aid of corrupt bank employees and obtaining bank loan by depositing illicit money as security. 4. False loan repayment. 5. Taking aid of E-cash, which enables to move vast amount of money instantly with just a few keystrokes. . 7 Moving Money Abroad Legitimate purposes-are for moving money abroad: (1) to invest, (2) to speculate, (3) to lend, (4) to meet trading/personal obligations and (5) to safeguard assets against theft or seizure by repressive regimes. But a criminal moves money abroad for- (1) Dealing in arms & ammunition, (2) Drug trafficking, (3) Financing terrorist activities, (4) Evasion of exchange regulations/control, (5) Evasion of taxation, (6) Disguise or remove proceeds of threat/fraud/bribe, (7) Making blackmail payments and (8) Paying ransom for kidnappers.
The banking system remains one of the most important avenues for money launderers. The use of bearer certificate of deposit, bank drafts, wire transfers to transmit funds internationally and establishment of loan back scheme are commonly used as banking instruments around the world. New methods are constantly being used to avoid detection. These may include simple measures as “Smurfing” or Structuring that is making numerous small deposits which would fall below a suspicious cash transaction report, using relatives, third party or false names on accounts or more sophisticated measures such as use of shell companies.
A recent study by FATF found increasing use of non-bank financial institutions (Money Changers, remittance business etc. ) to provide services attractive to launderers since these institutions are subject to fewer regulatory requirements than banks. Because of increasing profit from the drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises, money launderers are adopting new techniques, employing specialized expertise who can provide sophisticated methods of laundering and various other financial services.
Techniques used include false invoicing (over- invoicing, under- invoicing), commingling of legal and illegal money, the use of bank loan arrangements (whereby the launderer transfers proceeds to another country and use them as security for a bank loan, which is sent back to original country) and layers of transactions through off-shore shell companies. In addition, a significant amount of illegal proceeds has been invested in real estate. However, because of the introduction of anti-money laundering counter measures in different countries, money launderers constantly seek new ways to circumvent regulation.
Methods that work tend to be replicated in different locations or may be used with some modifications. 2. 7. 1 Underground Banking (Alternative Remittance System) There has also of under ground or alternative banking system commonly known as ‘Hawala’ or Hundi in the sub-continent. This system works without a paper trail. A ‘Hawala’ bankers issue neither a written receipt for the sum received nor an order for payment. What he does, make a firm verbal commitment to the seller of dollars to make an equivalent taka payment at the agreed rate of exchange, through his agent in the particular country.
Then he sends a coded message to his agent containing the designated recipients name and time, date and address for the payment. Why people resort to underground banking a. Socio-economic & political reasons b. Higher returns c. Anonymity d. No available banking channel e . Avoidance of local taxes f. Illiteracy/Semi-literacy Advantages of Hundi/Hawala: a. No paper trail b. No bureaucracy c. Cost effective d. No body is the loser and e. No holiday-very fast delivery [pic] Figure 1. Basic sequence of communication and payment in an alternative remittance
The Chinese have a similar system known as ‘fie chien’ or flying money. This system, sometimes known as ‘Chit’ system involved depositing money in one country in exchange for chit or a chop (i. e. a seal) and remittance of this money in another country on presentation of the chit. It is fast and convenient, does not involve the transportation of bank cash, leaves little trail for investigators, has virtue of anonymity and the costs are fairly low. The main negative consequence of money laundering can have on the financial system.
A large-scale money laundering operation may put at the risk of smaller nation’s financial system through loss of credibility and investor’s confidence. The victims of the bank’s malpractice were the depositors and the government in developing countries. 2. 7. 2 Electronic Money Laundering Criminals are always looking for “a new type of detergent which allows for cleaner laundry” (Bortner, 1996). They have been quick to exploit each new method of financial transfer. In the 1980s and 1990s wire transfers became a popular method for moving money in both the legal and illegal sectors.
By 2000 we may see the same situation with e-money. The abuse of e-money by money launderers may become a significant problem in the future because e-money systems will be attractive to money launderers for two reasons: 1. Transactions may become untraceable; and 2. Transactions are incredibly mobile. Untraceability |E-money systems may provide Organized Crime with untraceable, | |mobile wealth. | The use of e-money systems will mean fewer face-to-face financial transactions.
The anonymity of e-money will make “knowing your customer” much more difficult. E-money systems also allow the parties to the transaction to deal with each other directly, without the assistance of a regulated financial institution. Thus, there may not be a traditional audit trail. Mobility Hypothetically, e-money could come from anywhere in the world, and be sent anywhere in the world. Thus, e-money systems may offer instantaneous transfer of funds over a network that, in effect, is not subject to any jurisdictional restrictions.
The problem may be illustrated by separating the process of money laundering into three basic steps – placement, layering and integration – and then comparing traditional money laundering systems with cyber-systems. The first step in money laundering is the physical disposal of cash. Traditionally, placement might be accomplished by depositing the cash in domestic banks or other kinds of financial institutions. Or the cash might be smuggled across borders for deposit in foreign accounts, or used to buy high-value goods, such as artwork, airplanes, or precious metals and gems, that can then be resold with payment by cheque or bank transfer.
With e-money laundering, cash may be deposited into an unregulated financial institution. Placement may be easily achieved using a smart card or personal computer to buy foreign currency, goods, etc. Powerful encryption may be used to guarantee the anonymity of e-money transactions. The second step, layering, involves working through complex layers of financial transactions to distance the illicit proceeds from their source and disguise the audit trail. This phase traditionally involves such transactions as the wire transfer of deposited cash, the conversion of deposited cash into monetary instruments (e. . , bonds, stocks, travelers’ cheques), the resale of high-value goods and monetary instruments, and investment in real estate and legitimate businesses, particularly in the leisure and tourism industries. Shell companies, typically registered in offshore havens, are a popular device in the traditional layering phase. These companies, whose directors are often local attorneys acting as nominees, protect the identity of t

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