Money laundering and terrorist financing risks and vulnerabilities associated with gold

Money laundering / terrorist financing vulnerabilities associated with gold

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Gold provides an alternative means for criminals to store or move their assets as regulators implement stronger anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing measures to protect the formal financial sector from abuse. 

The joint FATF-Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering report, money laundering / terrorist financing vulnerabilities associated with gold , identifies the many features that make gold attractive to criminals to use as a vehicle for money laundering: it has a stable value, it is anonymous and easily transformable and interchangeable.  The highly lucrative gold market also presents proceed-generating opportunities for criminals at each stage, from mining to retailing.

Understanding what makes gold - like other precious metals and stones, such as diamonds - attractive to criminals to legitimise their assets and to generate profits is essential in identifying this sector’s money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

This report provides a series of case studies and red flag indicators to raise awareness of the key vulnerabilities of gold and the gold market, particularly with anti-money laundering/ countering the financing of terrorism practitioners, and companies involved in the gold industry.