Cash, Crime and Anti-Money Laundering

  • Michele Riccardi
  • Michael Levi


Despite the increasing use of electronic payments, cash still plays a crucial role in most criminal and terrorist financing activities. This chapter provides a review of the numerous facets of the relationship between cash and (anti) money laundering. It shows how cash is spread in the criminal economy—but also in the legitimate one. It discusses what criminal activities are more prone to generate cash proceeds, and why cash is still crucial for smuggling illicit funds across borders. It shows why cash-intensive assets and businesses are preferred for laundering money, and it discusses the challenges for public authorities in seizing illicit cash. Finally, it provides a review of the regulatory measures introduced, internationally, to reduce the use of cash, discussing key policy and research implications of cash restriction.


Cash Cash-Smuggling Money laundering Terrorist financing High-denomination banknotes 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Riccardi
    • 1
  • Michael Levi
    • 2
  1. 1.Transcrime – Joint Research Centre on Transnational CrimeUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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