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Unwrapping money laundering: What you need to know

Mónica Ramírez Chimal (mramirez@asserto.com.mx) is Partner and Founder of consulting firm Asserto RSC in Mexico City, Mexico.

You’ve read the news or heard about it. Money laundering has happened in every country and industry. Royalty, politicians, singers, doctors, spouses, and students have all been involved. Banks, exchange houses, cryptocurrencies, universities, hotels, hospitals, real estate, construction companies, consulting firms, clothing manufacturing, and many others have been used to launder money; even the Vatican has been involved! Getting involved in money laundering can happen to any person no matter their gender, age, religion, economical position, or profession. With so many cases happening, we can ask ourselves: Who is the next person or company that will be involved in a money laundering case?

But why does money laundering keep happening? Because people keep minimizing the risk by thinking: “We are too far away from it,” “This won’t happen to us,” or, “Why bother if we’ve been operating like this and we have been fine?” Or they ignore it or don’t want to admit that they are vulnerable.

All money laundering cases have one common factor: people.

People can be used to launder money or simply facilitate it. Sometimes they get paid, and sometimes people may not realize what they are doing and will end up doing it for free. In both cases, people are helping to launder money.

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