Structuring or Smurfing

  • Organising a transaction in such as way as to avoid triggering a reporting or record-keeping threshold. It is one of the most well known money laundering methods, and is a crime in many countries. The people who perform this activity are known as runners or smurfs, employed by the launderers. They deposit small amounts of cash under the reporting threshold, or purchase monetary instruments (cashiers cheques) in amounts under the reporting threshold.

  • A structurer may have 20 or more accounts open, some in false identities of dead people. Cash is supplied to the structurer by a money broker. The structurer deposits the cash in small quantities. The money broker then uses cheques drawn on the accounts to make payments for exports from the country where the structuring takes place to a different country (often linked to drug production).

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