“Make it out to Ice Station Zebra Associates, that’s my loan out. It’s totally legit; it’s done just for tax purposes…”’
Fans of the hit crime drama Breaking Bad, will recognise this line from the often-funny but rarely honest lawyer, Saul Goodman. Even if you are not one of the millions of fans who tuned in, chances are you have encountered money laundering through the lens of Hollywood. Money laundering is a mainstay in criminal drama, appearing in everything from The Shawshank Redemption to The Wire.
But why does it feature so strongly? Well, money laundering is in fact a huge global issue that affects workers across a wide range of industries. By some estimates, over $1.5 trillion of illegal funds are laundered worldwide. $200 billion of this is laundered in the Oceania region.
Money laundering is not restricted to financial transfers or cash transactions either. It can involve a variety of high value commodities, including real estate, financial securities, and the purchase of luxury goods.
In one year alone, the Commonwealth Government reportedly recovered some $13 million in criminal assets, including cash, houses, boats, motor vehicles and other items. In the same year the Australian Federal Police recovered $41 million in assets, including cash, residential properties, a light aircraft and luxury vehicles.
Far from being a Hollywood plot device alone, money laundering presents a huge risk to businesses ranging from real estate to online gambling. In turn, effective Anti-Money Laundering training is an essential risk mitigation strategy.
Learning Seat’s ‘Anti- money laundering awareness’ course provides organisations with a comprehensive introduction to money laundering and terrorism financing. Drawing on best practice for adult learning and digital education, the course is framed around learning objectives that are outcome focused and alongside industry specific training will lead to measurable change in your workplace.
Statistics in this article are from ‘Money Laundering in Australia’, Parliament of Australia Library, 2011