Money laundering is the process of transforming the profits of crime and corruption into ostensibly legitimate assets. Most anti-money laundering laws openly conflate money laundering with terrorism financing when regulating the financial system, some countries define money laundering as obfuscating sources of money, either intentionally or by merely using financial systems or services that do not identify or track sources or destinations. Other countries define money laundering to include money from activity that would have been a crime in that country, the concept of money laundering regulations goes back to ancient times and is intertwined with the development of money and banking. Money laundering is first seen with individuals hiding wealth from the state to avoid taxation or confiscation or a combination of both, in China, merchants around 2000 BCE would hide their wealth from rulers who would simply take it from them and banish them. In addition to hiding it, they would move it and invest it in businesses in remote provinces or even outside China, over the millennia many rulers and states imposed rules that would take wealth from their citizens and this led to the development of offshore banking and tax evasion. One of the methods has been the use of parallel banking or Informal value transfer systems such as hawala that allowed people to move money out of the country avoiding state scrutiny. In the 20th century, the seizing of wealth again became popular when it was seen as a crime prevention tool. The first time was during the period of Prohibition in the United States during the 1930s and this saw a new emphasis by the state and law enforcement agencies to track and confiscate money. Organized crime received a major boost from Prohibition and a source of new funds that were obtained from illegal sales of alcohol. In the 1980s, the war on drugs led governments again to turn to money-laundering rules to try and seize proceeds of crime to catch the organizers. It also had the benefit from a law enforcement point of view of turning rules of evidence upside down, Law enforcers normally have to prove an individual is guilty to get a conviction. But with money laundering laws, money can be confiscated and it is up to the individual to prove that the source of funds is legitimate if they want the funds back and this makes it much easier for law enforcement agencies and provides for much lower burdens of proof. The September 11 attacks in 2001, which led to the Patriot Act in the US and similar legislation worldwide, starting in 2002, governments around the world upgraded money laundering laws and surveillance and monitoring systems of financial transactions. Anti money laundering regulations have become a larger burden for financial institutions. During 2011–2015 a number of major banks faced ever-increasing fines for breaches of money laundering regulations and this included HSBC, which was fined $1.9 billion in December 2012, and BNP Paribas, which was fined $8.9 billion in July 2014 by the US government. For example, in 2006, Australia set up the AUSTRAC system, Money obtained from certain crimes, such as extortion, insider trading, drug trafficking, and illegal gambling is dirty. It needs to be cleaned to appear to have derived from legal activities so that banks. Money can be laundered by many methods, which vary in complexity, some of these steps may be omitted, depending on the circumstances
Image: Amount of losses in scams
Placing "dirty" money in a service company, where it is layered with legitimate income and then integrated into the flow of money, is a common form of money laundering.