Out of the mouths of babes. A while ago I was doing some introductory-level AML training – what money laundering is, why it matters, you know the drill – and someone asked a very interesting question. “Is anti-money laundering the only training you do?” “Yes, lucky woman that I am – it’s a wonderful subject,” I answered brightly. “In that case, aren’t you making money from crime?” Oh lordy.
If you go back to basics, I am indeed making a living from crime. If the crime of money laundering were not being committed by other people, I would have nothing to talk, write or train about. Heavens above, my company name – Thinking about Crime Limited – suggests that it occupies my thoughts day and night. Following her logic to its conclusion (which seems to be the fate of all logic – always being pursued to the end), the same accusation of making money from crime could be levelled at all sorts of people: policemen, lawyers, prison guards, criminal psychologists, Agatha Christie… And (stay with me here – you may need to sit down) if we’re all making money from crime, are all our financial transactions therefore money laundering?