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For lucrative fees, there are always unscrupulous individuals in the dark corners of the financial services industry willing to bend rules, warp the truth and shower legitimate requests for information with flurries of nonsensical paperwork. In the financial services world, all is a function of time and money. With access to large amounts of wealth, whether legitimate or illicit, comes access to professionals who can fabricate corporate vehicles to camouflage the history of funds and transmit them into various jurisdictions for safekeeping. Counterfeit corporations, and their associated trickery, assist in both functions.
Transaction monitoring software within a financial institution’s payments centre will pore over vast quantities of payment messages entering or departing the bank for possible indicators of money laundering or terrorist financing activity. Professional money launderers use trade-based money laundering to avoid the scrutiny imposed on standard person-to-person or corporate-to-corporate payments, as documentary letters of credit and documentary collections offer a way of bypassing the scrutiny imposed on SWIFT MT103 messages.