In the aftermath of recent multiple leaks such as the Panama Papers, the Swiss leaks, the Lux leaks, and the Bahama leaks, this book offers an interesting view on the underlying conflicting interests that impede the adoption of more effective legislation to stop money laundering by way of the financial system.
The central position of the book is that the declared goals underlying the criminalization of money laundering have not been fulfilled. The effectiveness of the anti-money laundering regime in Germany is assessed by examining the indirect effects, collateral consequences, and positive interpretations of the law in action and of the law inaction; reducing the issue to a question of symbolic effectiveness does not reflect the complexity of the matter. What is demonstrated, is that the goals attributed to the regime were too ambitious, and that a lower degree of effectiveness has been accepted in order to balance the inherent political, economic and financial conflicting interests.
Unlike other volumes focusing on this issue, this book deals with the implementation of the legislation and the consequences thereof, and is primarily aimed at legal sociologists, sociology of law researchers, criminal lawyers, criminologists with an interest in white collar crime and political scientists studying measures against illicit financial flows and the concrete implementation of anti-money laundering laws. The book will be of interest to both international policymakers and consultants as well as their counterparts in Germany for instance working on improving the instruments to fight organized crime and prevent the financing of terrorism through money laundering.
The complexity of the anti-money laundering regime and all the variables are exhaustively and critically reviewed in the assessment, thereby providing complete instructions for future legislative steps. The case study regarding the situation in Germany maximizes readers’ insights into concrete effects of the implementation of international anti-money laundering standards at a national level, and the opinions of professionals working in the field and of experts on the law-making process are also illuminating. Moreover, the book equips non-German speakers with the information needed to deal with the extensive German legal scholarly production on article 261 of the German criminal code and the current internal political debate on the matter.
Verena Zoppei is a Fellow Researcher at the International Security Division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.