The legal phrase “money laundering” refers to an act (Section 261 para. 1 sentence 1 German Criminal Code, StGB), where an object, which stems from a certain illegal act, is hidden, its origin is concealed or the determination of the origin, the retrieval, the confiscation or the seizure of such an object is thwarted or jeopardised. In simple terms, money laundering refers to the concealing of the fact that money originates from a previously committed unlawful act.
Money laundering is a criminal offence that is punishable with a fine or imprisonment. In accordance with the German Anti-Money Laundering Act, companies in the financial sector and other sectors where the risk of money laundering is high are obliged to cooperate in the detection of money laundering cases. More specifically, such companies must monitor transactions carried out through them and report any suspicious activities.