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4 Ways To Launder Money

BY Team Loanstreet

Updated 24 May 2021

You best believe scamming and money laundering are like BFF - it’s like a combo at this point. Did you guys read about the 5 suspects allegedly behind ‘Macau Scam’ that was caught early October 2020? Apparently, they’ve also been laundering money as well. This one kan even got our local celebrities involved (*cough: Bubble Bee). But, what’s new, right?

In case you guys don’t know, money laundering means 2 things: (1) making money illegally and (2) converting it to ‘legit’ monies. You must be wondering how, here are 4 ways how these syndicates launder money.

What's covered in this article?

1. Gambling in casino

What’s a better way to launder money than to do it at a casino? Simply bring the illicit cash and convert them into chips... anonymously, ofcoz. They’ll play for a few rounds, turn the chips back with a receipt, and later claim the final chip amount as winnings (legit money!) - easy peasy lemon squeezy.

But, it’s a little tricky when they want to transfer a much larger sum of money. Fret not, there’s a trick - they just need more than one player. 

Let’s say, two people play the same roulette - one bet on all red, another one on all black. As long as the game doesn’t end with one/two zero, one of them will win the round for sure. Genius, amirite?


2. Mixing illegal and legit money altogether

These syndicates can even launder money by making up a real business on the side - its only purpose is to just blend dirty money with clean ones. How ah?

Well, these companies, usually called ‘shell companies’ will overstate their income (they over-invoice!). This is how they’re bringing in the ‘dirty’ money to the legit business. If the business is on a cash basis like a nightclub, it’ll be difficult to trace their cash flows as well. 

Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to set up these shell companies - they don’t even need to have any operation/asset. Once done, they’ll simply create fake transactions to allow cash coming in. The money will be cycled in a few more companies before it finally reaches their pockets - quite a long game lah.


3. Smurfing/structuring the funds

You guys might’ve guessed this but it’s hard AF to launder via banks. It’s because the bank has put precautions whenever they see anyone transfer a big amount of money - they’ll see it as a red alert. This is where these syndicates can try smurfing/structuring so they wouldn’t be noticed.

However, this will require them to hire many short-term employees. Then, they can make multiple small deposits into multiple accounts several times. When it’s done, they finally can transfer the money to their accounts, either in offshore or shell company accounts (hooray!).

Do note that this method has to be done throughout multiple days to avoid any suspicion. They can do this through foreign exchanges and banks that maintain high levels of secrecy - like the Swiss Bank.


4. Flipping real estate

Another thing, money laundering also makes use of wide networks to perform multiple transactions with different names and accounts - one of it, is through real estate transactions.

For example, they buy a house/land from a seller - it’s just that the selling price will be slightly lower. What about the remaining amount? They just have to pay it under the table.

After that, they ‘sell’ the property to another partner with a much higher value. The difference between the selling and buying price is the ‘clean’ money.


Anyway, here are what you should do if you encounter these syndicates:

  1. Don’t panic - check first with the relevant authority (whoever they choose to operate such as Poslaju, banks etc)
  2. Never give out your private information (if they push, hang up!) 
  3. Stay updated with the latest information at Bank Negara Malaysia’s website 
  4. Make a police report ASAP (if you fall to their scheming ways or know someone who’s doing this)

At a glance, it might seem that you don’t have much power to fight this - you do. If you somehow find any company that does all this thing, you should stop supporting them as they don’t need your money - they’ve made more than enough!

Be careful, everyone!


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About the Author

Team Loanstreet

Run by a professional human-sized team, get resourceful tips & guides from our very own library of financial articles that can help improve your financial lifestyle & make a well-informed money decision. We strive to provide you with the best service in helping you to get the most out of that DUIT!


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