I Could Be Doing Something (Anything!) Else
By Frank Lieshout | 5 min read
Once again It’s time to talk about those three (some say ‘dirty’) letters.
A, M, L
That’s right – AML – Anti Money Laundering and the regulations that come with it.
In our original article, we mentioned a number of objections we hear about complying with AML obligations and debunked these as myths.
Just call us the AML Myth Busters! Here is what we have addressed in previous articles:
- ‘There’s no consequence for not doing it, eh?’
- ‘It doesn’t apply to me.’
- ‘It’s just not a priority.’
- ‘It wouldn’t affect any of MY clients’
In this article, we look at the objection of ‘I could be doing something (ANYTHING!) else’
Let’s look at what you could be doing in your personal life:
- Having quality family time
- Enjoying your favourite hobby or pastime
- Relaxing with a good book, food and drink, or watching your favourite tv show
- Or all of these at the same time for you multi-taskers
- Doing chores around the house
- Watching paint dry or grass grow
Furthermore, here are a few ways you could be spending your time in your business:
- Making money by doing work for clients
- Socialising with team members and clients
- Catching up on local gossip
- Creating a better life for your clients
- Meeting with clients and interacting with them on a personal level
That sounds like a LOT of choices that could bring happiness beyond measure!
I’m guessing what WOULDN’T make you happy would be to find out you are unknowingly involved in what SOME (unscrupulous) people are doing with THEIR time.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
- Drug and arms trafficking
- Illegal prostitution and gambling
Money laundering is the process of disguising the origin of profits from these, and other criminal activities.
And you can unwittingly be ‘ripe for the picking’ to be involved in it!
You probably wouldn’t even know you were involved in it.
Like a drug mule being asked to take a bag on a flight and then being completely surprised when questioned by Customs and police at the other end.
Maybe that one is just being naive. Nothing dodgy about doing that – Yeah right!
CASE IN POINT
Recently, a New Zealand business owner was convicted for unwittingly laundering drug money.
He thought he knew his business investors but – ALAS! – the funds they invested in the business came from the proceeds of crime.
The first inkling he had that something was wrong was when the police knocked on his door. His response rhymed with ‘oh truck’.
Even though he knew nothing about it, he had no choice but to plead guilty and get his first criminal conviction. He was sentenced to one year home detention.
‘Not knowing’ is not a defence under the Crimes Act. ‘Being reckless’ about the origin of funds is enough for you to be convicted of money laundering.
The onus was on him to do due diligence that the funds were from a legitimate source.
As we mentioned in the previous article,
According to the Department of Justice, around $1.35 billion is laundered through ordinary New Zealand businesses annually, because of those types of crimes mentioned above.
Most of this is smaller amounts which are less easy to detect, so it is easy for the laundered funds to not turn up on your radar.
So, despite what you would rather being spending your time on, spend some time sorting out your AML processes and procedures.
Who knows? If you don’t, one day you may also receive a knock on the door from the police!
If you haven’t already had your AML Audit completed, get in touch with us.