6 THE GLOBAL LAUNDROMAT

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Anti-money-laundering legislation of all kinds is spreading

worldwide, and its purpose is broader than its publicly stated

reasons for being—to combat crime and terrorism. Moneylaundering

legislation, coupled with other dangerous legislation such

as laws to allow the legal confiscation of private property and assets

even under questionable circumstances and often without due process,

has the potential to be a powerful and unbridled weapon to use

against the average person.

As even grade-school kids know, the anti-racketeering laws were

originally passed to corral underworld gangsters who were the villains

in organized crime. Today, these laws are freely used on anyone, and

are just an addition to the arsenal for those looking to put you away.

When this legislation was originally drafted, the language was purposefully

ambiguous, to make it easier to manipulate through future

interpretation and application. The unsuspecting public does not

necessarily consider this aspect of legislation at the time it is proposed

and ultimately passed.

A closer look at the U.S. Patriot Act raises a similar specter. Six

weeks after 9/11, we were led to believe that bureaucrats agreed to,

and drafted, a 342-page piece of legislation supposedly designed to

stop terrorists and rogue states and to keep us safe from our airplanes

being wrangled and our buildings falling down around us. Was this

possibly written in advance by those hoping to limit our liberties and

other agendas, then dusted off, and put into place when the right moment

came along? Maybe not, but why then did so few bureaucrats

read it before it was passed? Many were later surprised to learn the

scope of this document.

Approximately one-third of this legislation is targeted at offshore

banking and finance under the label “anti-money-laundering.” And,

what have we learned is the real reason for anti-money-laundering

legislation? In case you would like to read the United States Patriot

Act for yourself, you will find it on the FINCEN web site at www

.fincen.org. This Act, which was again passed in 2006, has been

called the anti-Constitution by some observers since. In a subtle subtext,

it brilliantly and deviously sneaks away with the rights granted

to us and the liberties guaranteed to us in the documents of the

founding fathers of this country.

Just what is the definition of money laundering? Of course, there

are many. Here is the definition used in Article One of the European

Communities Directive of 1990:

The conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is derived

from serious crime, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origins

of the property or of assisting any person who is involved in committing such an

offense or offenses to evade the legal consequences of his action, and the concealment

or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement,

rights with respect to, or ownership of property, knowing that such property is derived

from serious crime.

This leads the thinking reader to wonder what the definition of

“serious crime” might be. Inevitably, it is open for further analysis

and interpretation, making it convenient for those in power to define

according to need.

There are numerous anti-money-laundering organizations around

the world. Readers should be aware of the more active and outwardly

spoken ones, and what they are doing. A few of the more prominent

ones are covered here, and they are mentioned occasionally in this

book and frequently in the media.

In fact, there are many references to money laundering these

days. A quick search on the Internet will produce lots of reading material,

although, of course, I wouldn’t trust all of it.