Money laundering is the process by which criminals attempt to disguise the source of money that was obtained illegally. Money laundering enables criminal groups and gangs to fund and grow their illegal operations and conceal their assets. Money laundering enables some of the most heinous crimes in the world, including modern-day slavery, human trafficking and the drugs and weapons trades.
The only way in which money launderers can succeed is by exploiting legal and legitimate processes and services. In most cases, collaboration with money launderers by legitimate businesses will be unwitting, but in some cases, legitimate businesses assist money launderers either by allowing their illegal activities to go unchecked or by not putting proper AML processes in place to stop them.
The penalties for money laundering and assisting/not reporting money laundering are extremely high, and all regulated businesses must have appropriate anti-money laundering procedures in place to ensure their businesses are not enabling criminals to clean their dirty money.