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Über dieses Buch

This book examines two types of transnational money laundering: the use of offshores and wire transfers to “invest” in real estate; and agribusiness, a nebulous activity that is difficult to regulate. The author also examines current international mechanisms to combat money-laundering; whether these efforts have been successful or unsuccessful; and whether multilateral instruments are an effective tool in the war against international organized crime.

As national borders have opened and trade barriers have fallen, transnational crime has grown at unprecedented levels. The current situation, better revealed by the so-called “Panama Papers,” is a result of a lack of local cooperation in the investigations, prosecution, and/or extradition of criminals. Governments profit from ill-gotten wealth hosting international criminal enterprises in their own territories, thus providing a fertile ground for illicit practices, closing their eyes to the nexus among false or inappropriate identification, fraudulent records, corruption, and money laundering. If these types of transnational money-laundering are allowed to remain as they are currently treated, the shift in the financial paradigm, from centralized and regulated to decentralized and “unregulated,” would allow for the continuation of some of the most dangerous criminal activity. In this timely book, the author presents arguments that by “following the money,” capital movements involved in transnational money laundering through real estate and agribusiness can be examined, revealed, and understood.



Chapter 1. Money Laundering Through Real Estate

This chapter studies one important case Nguema Obiang and the situation of New York Real Estate. In the Nguema Obiang case, the U.S. government has filed civil forfeiture complaints against approximately $70.8 million in real and personal property due to corruption and money laundering offences. It was the first time the Department of Justice favorably resolved an asset seizure case where a sitting ruling family appeared and contested the claim. It is relevant to explore, in this context, the influx of global cash fueling New York city’s high-end real estate boom through more than 200 shell companies that have owned condominiums at one complex, the Time Warner Center. Criminals have been able to make these multimillion-dollar purchases because of international laws foster the movement of largely untraceable money through shell companies.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis

Chapter 2. Money Laundering Through Agribusiness

Money laundering through Agribusiness is very easy. It is common to identify the use of falsified documents. Simulation of documentation and the difficulty to get information makes this sector an interesting tool for criminal purposes, also because the Financial Action Task Force has no recommendation on this issue.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis

Chapter 3. Money Laundering Typologies Evidenced in the “Panama Papers”

This chapter details the fact that commonly properties are been paid through the misuse of the market. To launder their criminal proceeds, money launderers transfer large sums of money, many times using cash, wire transfers, remittance companies, NGOs, offshores, trusts, or black market moneychangers, which make them impossible to identify the real owner, the beneficial owner. From a unique judicial perspective, the author provides insight on how market grapple with the challenging issues that arise in such complex and international cases revealed by Panama Papers.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis

Chapter 4. Efforts to Combat Money Laundering

Money Laundering has been characterized as an international phenomenon. In order to guarantee the success of the criminal organizations in the vastness of the dirty business initiated, the target of them is making the structures competent to not paralyze them or render them inoperative and inefficient. States must work together for recovering assets acquired with the proceeds of crime. Forfeiture, confiscation, and repatriation require cooperation.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis

Chapter 5. Conclusions

Illegal activities carried out under the cloak of offshores or shell companies are pervasive. The need of free capital movements creates a unique complexity and difficulty in dealing with money laundering through properties. We must challenge the usual market practices, in light of illegal conduct perpetuated by and through real estate and agribusiness.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis

Chapter 6. Proposals to Improve the War Against Money Laundering Through Real Estate and Agribusiness

A number of different international and national initiatives are being put forth in the war against money laundering, but there have been no advances in the area of financial crimes committed within properties. This chapter presents detailed proposals, directed toward international organizations, national governments, law enforcement agencies, courts, nonprofit organizations, and the related sectors, on how to improve the war against financial crimes committed by and through real estate and agribusiness.
Fausto Martin De Sanctis


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