|Some of the cash seized in Amsterdam.|
Police in Amsterdam, on routine patrol in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, encountered two Dutch nationals in a parking garage in possession of a large amount of cash, as well as high-end designer clothes, wh could not explain either why they were in the garage in the middle of the workday, nor the origin legitimate origin of cash and designer clothing.
After further investigation uncovered additional unexplained cash at a residence of one of the detained individuals, they were placed under arrest on charges of money laundering. What makes this case unique is the fact that the accused money launderers were holding expensive designer clothes. Top-end, designer womens' clothing, known as Haute Couture, is in global demand, and could be used in a placement-layering-integration money laundering scheme, as the industry does not require any compliance to detect money laundering, and relies upon an affluent international clientele who often wire payment from abroad to the designer houses in Paris or Milan. Imaginative money launderers could easily adapt Haute Couture, and perhaps even the Ready-to-Wear segment of the industry, to move the proceeds of crime through a money laundering pipeline, resulting in clean cash, appearing to be the legitimate profits from the retail womens' apparel business.