The laundering of criminal proceeds from environmental crime has so far received little attention. This is to some extent surprising because environmental crime is one of the most profitable types of crime. Criminal proceeds are in many cases bigger than in the drug trade. In this article three different categories of money laundering are described. The authors use an analogy with soccer to describe these categories. In ‘division one’ transactions are almost all in cash. The illegal goods, for instance fireworks, can be bought and sold with cash money. There is hardly any need to launder money and the border is barely an obstacle. In the ‘premier league’ the border plays an important role to launder money. The authors identify several methods of money laundering such as the mixing of legal and illegal trade, the use of double-entry bookkeeping and the use of priority rights. In the ‘Champions League’ criminal groups create an opportunity to make money illegally and to launder their criminal proceeds. For example the EU-wide introduction of CO2 emissions trading created an opportunity for VAT fraud.
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