n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Prosecuting money laundering the FATF way : an analysis of gaps and challenges in South African legislation from a comparative perspective

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South Africa is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body which is responsible for setting international standards to combat 'money laundering' and countering the financing of terrorism. In addition, the FATF has developed structures and mechanisms to ensure that these money laundering standards are effectively complied with by its members and non-member countries. Compliance is enforced by conducting evaluations of domestic legal systems and assessing the extent to which these systems are effectively implemented. A country is required to comply with these standards both in criminalising money laundering as well as applying proactive measures to prevent money from been laundered into the financial systems and to punish those who have benefited from such laundering. In 2009, the FATF has conducted a third round of evaluation in South Africa and identified specific gaps that require attention. Against this background, this article aims to analyse gaps identified by the FATF and certain challenges that prosecutors face in their prosecutions of money laundering. This is done in comparison with similar systems in the United States of America and Canada. Systems in these particular countries are relevant for this article because both countries were rated highly by the FATF with regards to their prosecution of money laundering offences. With its fourth round of evaluations around the corner, the question is whether South Africa has improved in its prosecution of money laundering and whether those gaps and challenges in question have been addressed as required by the FATF. This article is not intended to statistically evaluate any improvement in the number of money laundering cases that were brought before the court since the FATF's last evaluation. The aim of this article is to analyse these gaps and recommend few initiatives on how they can be addressed and be overcome.


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