Financial crime is crime committed against property, involving the unlawful conversion of the ownership of property (belonging to one person) to one's own personal use and benefit. Financial crimes may involve fraud (cheque fraud, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, medical fraud, corporate fraud, securities fraud (including insider trading), bank fraud, insurance fraud, market manipulation, payment (point of sale) fraud, health care fraud); theft; scams or confidence tricks; tax evasion; bribery; sedition; embezzlement; identity theft; money laundering; and forgery and counterfeiting, including the production of counterfeit money and consumer goods.

Financial crimes may involve additional criminal acts, such as computer crime and elder abuse and even violent crimes such as robbery, armed robbery or murder. Financial crimes may be carried out by individuals, corporations, or by organized crime groups. Victims may include individuals, corporations, governments, and entire economies.

Law enforcement often classifies larger forms of financial collusion as criminal syndicates.


The U.S. introduced the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977 to address bribery of foreign officials. This legislation dominated international anti-corruption enforcement until around 2010 when other countries began introducing broader and more robust legislation, notably the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010.[1][2] The International Organization for Standardization introduced an international anti-bribery management system standard in 2016.[3] In recent years, cooperation in enforcement action between countries has increased.[4]

Money laundering

Main article: Money laundering

For most countries, money laundering and terrorist financing raise significant issues with regard to prevention, detection and prosecution. Sophisticated techniques used to launder money and finance terrorism add to the complexity of these issues. Such sophisticated techniques may involve different types of financial institutions; multiple financial transactions; the use of intermediaries, such as financial advisers, accountants, shell corporations and other service providers; transfers to, through, and from different countries; and the use of different financial instruments and other kinds of value-storing assets. Money laundering is, however, a fundamentally simple concept. It is the process by which proceeds from a criminal activity are disguised to conceal their true origin. Basically, money laundering involves the proceeds of criminally derived property rather than the property itself. Money laundering can be defined in a number of ways, most countries subscribe to the definition adopted by the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988) (Vienna Convention) and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (2000) (Palermo Convention):

i. The conversion or transfer of property, knowing that such property is derived from any (drug trafficking) offense or offenses or from an act of participation in such offense or offenses, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property or of assisting any person who is involved in the commission of such an offense or offenses to evade the legal consequences of his actions;

ii. 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 an offense or offenses or from an act of participation in such an offense or offenses, and;

iii. The acquisition, possession or use of property, knowing at the time of receipt that such property was derived from an offense or offenses or from an act of Participation in such offense or offenses.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which is recognized as the international standard setter for Anti-money Laundering (AML) efforts, defines the term "money laundering" briefly as "the processing of criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin" in order to "legitimize" the ill-gotten gains of crime.

In 2005, money laundering within the financial industry in the UK was believed to amount to £25bn a year.[5] In 2009, a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) study[6] estimated that criminal proceeds amounted to 3.6% of global GDP, with 2.7%  (or US$1.6 trillion) being laundered.[7][8]

The Irish Department of Housing urged minister Darragh O’Brien to “ask in the strongest terms for the UAE to account for its relationship to Daniel Kinahan” a drug kingpin charged along with his brother, Christopher Kinahan in 2018 by the High Court of controlling and managing the daily drug operations in Ireland. The Kinahan brothers are sons of the Kinahan Cartel founder, Christy Kinahan Senior, who smuggled drugs and firearms into the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe for a long. For several years, the Kinahan leadership had been residing in Dubai, where Daniel denied his involvement in organized crime by defending himself as a ‘high-profile businessman in the professional boxing industry’. According to Panorama investigation, Daniel has operated in the boxing industry through MTK and simultaneously operated Europe’s biggest money laundering, drug trafficking, and gangland executions networks from Dubai. A spokesperson for minister O’Brien said, “respect for human rights is a cornerstone of Ireland’s foreign policy,” when asked if the minister would raise the concerns regarding Daniel’s presence and operations in Dubai on his visit in March 2022 for St Patrick’s Day.[9][10]


In 2005, fraud within the financial industry was estimated to cost the UK £14 billion a year.[5]

Law enforcement agencies

There are law enforcement agencies whose main enforcement activities focus on criminal violations of their country's tax code and related financial crimes, such as money laundering, currency violations, tax-related identity theft fraud, and terrorist financing. Some of these law enforcement agencies are:

See also


  1. ^ "Differences between the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act". Archived from the original on 2018-03-09. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  2. ^ Breslin, Brigid; Doron Ezickson; John Kocoras (2010). "The Bribery Act 2010: raising the bar above the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act". Company Lawyer. 31 (11). Sweet & Maxwell: 362. ISSN 0144-1027.
  3. ^ "New global framework for anti-bribery and corruption compliance programs Freshfields knowledge". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  4. ^ "Anti-bribery and corruption: global enforcement and legislative developments 2017" (PDF). Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. January 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Watchdog warns of criminal gangs inside banks". The Guardian. London. 2005-11-16. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  6. ^ "Illicit money: how much is out there?". Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  7. ^ "Money Laundering - Financial Action Task Force (FATF)". Archived from the original on 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  8. ^ "National Crime Agency - Money laundering". Retrieved 2019-02-06.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "FG TD wants minister to focus on Kinahan crime boss during St Patrick's Day Dubai visit". Irish Examiner. 15 February 2022. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Suspected crime boss Kinahan 'still working in boxing', Panorama reports". The Guardian. February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.