Money laundering : Proposal for making a criminal offence

Union government is considering a proposal to make money laundering a separate criminal offence. It will be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, irrespective of a probe by other agencies.

How it help ?

  • This will facilitate quick action against those indulging in money laundering.
  • Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also been of the view that money laundering investigations by the Enforcement Directorate should be allowed without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Current Practice

  • Money laundering cases depends on that of the probe and prosecutions in predicate offences pursued by primary agencies.
  • Registration of cases by other police agencies under the legal provisions listed in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is needed.

Investigation in other countries

  • Money laundering in itself has been defined as a criminal offence in several countries.
  • There are separate legislation for dealing with funds generated through activities like drug trafficking or terror financing.
  • The United States has very stringent laws to check money laundering.
  • In United Kingdom police have to prove predicate offence through circumstantial evidence, linking it to the funds generated and laundered.

  • U.K. agencies are not required to wait for the outcome of investigations into the predicate offence.

Need for nation

Certain restrictions on money laundering investigations on several occasions cause impediments in taking the cases to their logical conclusion. It will allow investigation agency without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Money-laundering and its prevention



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