Unpacking the laundry machine: Why are debt instruments easy laundry devices?

Authors Paul Nkoane

ISSN: 1996-2118
Affiliations: Unisa
Source: South African Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 31 Issue 1, p. 84 – 112


Money laundering is a crime that comes in all shapes and sizes. It is by its very nature a crime crafted for specifc needs and goals. The magnitude of laundering would hinge on the amount of money that needs laundering. Where criminals generate huge sums of illicit money, the bigger the ‘laundry machine’ that would be required, and where moderate amounts are generated, the average ‘laundry machine’ would be required, so to speak. Thus moderate amounts would be laundered with techniques that would suffce to realise the object. Where a criminal enterprise generates modest amounts it is unlikely that offshore companies would be set up for laundering. Techniques that are relatively obscure, but equally effective may be adopted. In this respect, the article seeks to explore the use of debt as a possible vehicle for money laundering.