How Banks Can Detect Money Mules in the Time of COVID-19
Financial Regulation International, June 2020 special issue, Vol. 23 Issue 5, p. 24
13 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2020 Last revised: 10 Jul 2020
Date Written: January 3, 2020
PURPOSE – This paper aims to help build awareness with financial institutions about the money laundering risks posed by individuals who have been unknowingly recruited as money rules and the measures that financial institutions can adopt to detect illicit funds which are being received into the bank accounts of low risk or medium risk customers who are unknowingly recruited as “Money Mules.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – This paper relies mainly on primary and secondary data drawn from the public domain. It also relies on documentary research.
FINDINGS – This paper determined that financial institutions may be able to prevent proceeds of crime from being laundered by individuals who have been unknowingly recruited as Money Mules if they focus monitoring resources on clients who are more likely to be used as Money Mules by criminal networks and organizations; Pay very close attention to the country of origin where the funds emanate from; Pay very close attention to the country where the funds are being transferred to; and Pay close attention to customers who make use of the wealth management services of the bank.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE – While most Articles focus on the money laundering risk(s) associated with Money Mules and the measures that individuals can employ to ensure that their bank accounts are not used by criminals to launder illicit funds, this paper focuses on the different mechanisms that banks can employ to detect illicit funds which are being received into the bank accounts of low risk or medium risk customers who are unknowingly recruited as “Money Mules.
Keywords: MONEY MULES, INFORMAL VALUE TRANSFER METHODS, COVID-19, MONEY LAUNDERING, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
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