Money Laundering Blacklists  book cover
1st Edition

Money Laundering Blacklists

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 31, 2022
ISBN 9781032080871
January 31, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What are the criteria used by FATF and the European Union to blacklist jurisdictions at high-risk of money laundering? What are the countries at highest risk according to Panama Papers and FinCEN files? Where do criminals move their illicit money, according to judicial and investigative evidence? This book answers these questions. It is an unprecedented study on the countries at highest risk of attracting money laundering and organised crime proceeds – and how they are identified as such by scholars, policy-makers and AML practitioners. It targets an issue which is central to the policy debate, in the media, but is under-studied.

The book is divided into two parts. Part I discusses the concept of money laundering risk, its main determinants, and carries out a review of extant country ratings, ranging from official blacklists and grey lists, to media leaks and scholarly papers. Part II discusses the weaknesses and the myths behind the current ratings, and proposes a new approach to assess the risk of money laundering across countries.

With a critical research perspective, empirically-driven, this book aims to satisfy both scholars and students - in particular from criminology, economics and international relations – and practitioners from banks, professional firms, AML authorities.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of abbreviations




  1. Money laundering risk and determinants
    1. Money laundering (and illicit financial flows)
    2. Money laundering risk
    3. Determinants of money laundering risk across countries: proximity, opacity and security
    4. Available measures of money laundering risk

  2. Money laundering blacklists and grey lists
    1. Origin and scope of AML blacklists
    2. The FATF blacklist and grey list
    3. The United States INCSR list
    4. The European Union AML blacklist
    5. Blacklists and sanctions

  3. Other lists of high-risk countries
    1. Lists based on judicial investigations
    2. Lists based on media investigations: from Panama Papers to FinCEN files
    3. Lists based on financial/corporate data analyses
    4. Lists based on crime data analyses
    5. Composite indicators
    6. Lists developed by banks and other obliged entities
    7. Relations and underlying components of existing risk ratings
    8. Summary: the gaps in existing risk ratings and blacklists


  4. A new approach to identify countries at high-risk of money laundering
    1. Rationale
    2. Methodology and operationalisation
    3. A practical application: money laundering risk from the perspective of Italy

  5. Discussion and policy implications
    1. Discussion
    2. Policy implications
    3. Limitations and future research directions




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Michele Riccardi is Deputy Director at Transcrime – the Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime and Adjunct Professor of Financial information analysis at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and of Risk assessment methods at the University of Palermo. His research focuses on organised crime, money laundering and financial crime. In this domain, he has coordinated and contributed to numerous research projects, at national and international level, and has authored numerous publications. He is member of the group of experts of the Supranational Money Laundering Risk Assessment (SNRA) of the European Union, and of the Italian National Money Laundering Risk Assessment (NRA). He is member of the United Nations working group for the measurement of illicit financial flows (SDG 16.4) and of the EU Asset Recovery Offices’ Platform. He has been consulted by FATF and World Bank on money laundering and risk assessment initiatives. He holds a PhD in Criminology, a MSc in Accounting and Financial Economics (with Distinction) at the University of Essex (UK) and a MA in International Relations (Cum Laude) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy).