In an awareness lecture in the Asharqia Chamber
A specialist confirms the growing phenomenon of money laundering at the global level
Hadi bin Abdul-Wahed Al-Saif, a specialist in financial compliance in the insurance sector, warned of the danger of the phenomenon of money laundering, which is witnessing a growing and complexity in the world, with amounts ranging from 715 billion dollars to 1.87 trillion dollars are laundered annually. This results in several economic, social, and political risks. Stressing the difficulty of detecting it, as it takes place in different locations, and takes hidden and unimaginable means.
This came during a lecture organized remotely by the Asharqia Chamber represented by the Finance Committee on Monday 28/December/2021, and its discussions were moderated by the Chairman of the Committee, Zaid bin Abdullah Al-Yaish, as Al-Saif listed several definitions of this global crime, including what was stated in the first article of the money laundering system issued by the Central Bank The Saudi, who defined the process as "committing or initiating any act to conceal or disguise the true origin of funds acquired contrary to Sharia or law and making them appear as if they were from a legitimate source."
During the lecture, Al-Saif pointed out that money laundering has many negative effects on the economies of countries, and according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, amounts ranging from 715 billion dollars to 1.87 trillion dollars are laundered annually. Money laundering operations result in several negative repercussions that affect society and the economy and result in several economic, social, and political risks.
As for "economic risks," he mentioned economic distortion and instability, high inflation, low national income, distortion of the image of financial markets (price fluctuations), weakening financial institutions, which meet with several "social risks" resulting from the increase in crime and corruption rates. Unemployment rates, low standard of living, the emergence of gangs and organized crime specialized in money laundering crimes, as well as the “political risks” represented in penetrating and corrupting the structures of some governments and affecting their reputation.
Al-Saif identifies the stages of the laundering process, as the first stage is a deposit (substitution), in which the actual disposal of banknotes or other assets acquired from criminal activity, where illegal funds are employed in the financial system and other local or international business in a way that is not Attention is drawn to the second stage, which is coverage (camouflage), in which the illegal proceeds are separated from their source by layers of financial transactions to conceal the origin of the proceeds. The funds that were entered into the financial institutions are covered (disguised) to break the attempt to track those funds by doing complex transactions to hide.
The third stage (merger), which is the last stage, which aims to legitimize the apparent legitimacy of illegal funds by reinjecting funds into the local or international economic cycle in what appears to be normal business or personal transactions, so that it is difficult to distinguish between them and funds of legitimate source, and here The difficulty of the merger is to detect illegal funds. Because there are great discrepancies between the business or investment of a company or a person and the wealth and income of the person or company or its assets, during this stage luxury assets such as yachts, villas, high-end cars and jewelry, investments in financial assets, and entering into financial arrangements or projects can be invested in. business establishments, and placing real estate purchased with illegal funds as collateral for loans.