How do criminals use property to launder money?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chopera Chopera 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #56317
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am interested and curious to know how criminals use property in order to launder money that was made illegally or without declaring tax on it. The criminals are cash buyers and are able to use the money they have to buy a property outright in cash but surely these people cannot just hand over the money as cash when buying property but need to have the money deposited in a bank account in their name. If a property can only be bought with money held in a bank account in the name of that person then the very fact that the money is sitting in a bank account in their name means that the money legally belongs to them already and so has already been laundered and the need to make a property purchase to launder the money is irrelevant because money in a bank account means that the money legally belongs to that person regardless of how and where that money has come from.

    What I am trying to say is that if a criminal has somehow successfully managed to deposit his illegally earned cash into a bank account in their name then the money has effectively been laundered already and there is no need to proceed to use the money to buy a property in order to launder the money. Is this correct or have I got this wrong?

    If a criminal has managed to put their illegally earned money into a bank account in their name then effectively it has been laundered, end of story. It is the bank’s responsibility to prevent illegally earned money being deposited into their bank in the first place. Once the money has, by whatever means, managed to enter the banking system then it has effectively been laundered, in which case there is no need to then have to launder the money that is already been made clean that is sitting in a bank account by using the money to buy a property because by the very fact that the money is sitting in a bank account means that the money is clean already and it is not neccessary to then buy a property to make the money clean as it is clean already – is this correct?

    Essentially what I am saying is that in order for a criminal to launder money they first need to find a way to get the money into their bank account first. In doing this they will have effectively laundered the money. Why is it then that is often said that criminals launder money by buying property in Spain when it is impossible to buy a property in Spain with just cash sitting around but must be done with money held in a bank account?

  • #105499
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Large amounts of drug money isn’t laundered by buying the odd house. Many of the developments were financed by drug money.

    You sure have a lot of questions :mrgreen:

  • #105512
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Once the money has, by whatever means, managed to enter the banking system then it has effectively been laundered, in which case there is no need to then have to launder the money that is already been made clean that is sitting in a bank account by using the money to buy a property because by the very fact that the money is sitting in a bank account means that the money is clean already and it is not neccessary to then buy a property to make the money clean as it is clean already – is this correct?

    Is this correct??? 😯

    Blimey, haven’t a clue. It’s like reading “….if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

    @katy wrote:

    You sure have a lot of questions :mrgreen:

    Going by all his threads I reckon he’s writing a thesis titled: Analysis of the Spanish Property Market: past, present and future. He’ll then bundle up all the replies, submit it and obtain a First Class Honours. 😆

  • #105522
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Desolation” sure is a prolific writer! Last time I looked in there were only 3 posts with his/her signature. I think you may be close to the reason Charlie.

  • #105523
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I suspect this person knows as much or more about the spanish property market that we do 😉 😉

  • #105525
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @desolation wrote:

    I am interested and curious to know how criminals use property in order to launder money that was made illegally or without declaring tax on it. The criminals are cash buyers and are able to use the money they have to buy a property outright in cash but surely these people cannot just hand over the money as cash when buying property but need to have the money deposited in a bank account in their name

    Nope. Handing over cash is exactly what they do. Even the largest Spanish constructor will happily accept say 50% of the payment in notes. It is almost expected.

    I think it is true that if you do manage to get “dirty” money into a UK bank account then you have managed to clean it. I doubt if it’s that easy to do though – which is why buying property in Spain is a popular choice.

    As an aside, I heard that just before the euro was introduced many Germans holding black deutschmarks rushed over to Spain to buy houses in cash before their deutschmarks became worthless.

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