Money laundering refers to a complex process of concealing or disguising illicit property or income. Various laundering techniques are used worldwide to hide either the source or the destination of "dirty money". The basic stages of the process are placement, layering and integration. Placement involves physically introducing the illicit funds into the financial system. Layering implies transferring of the funds in order to disguise the origins or destination of "dirty" money. Finally, integration means "recycling" the money available via legal financial circuits. The dimension of the process is global, as it involves the exploitation of weak jurisdictions or the disparities between national laws. As a consequence, the international community has made efforts to strengthen the cooperation and coordination in anti-money laundering (AML) strategies. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) is the most important AML inter-governmental body, in charge of developing international standards and monitoring their implementation at national levels. The FATF Forty Recommendations define the scope of the criminal offence of money laundering, the measures to be taken by financial institutions and non-financial businesses and professions, the competent Authorities, their powers and resources, and finally, the scope of AML international cooperation. 
Editor: Bianca GIANNINI