Wine and money-laundering

For money-laundering, one of the most useful businesses is something involving small, high-value items which can be sold for cash. Ideally you want things bought by the public (so you can easily get money to/from anybody), resaleable (so you can get multiple transactions), and whose value is hard to quantify (so you can increase or decrease the price as required)

Art is great for this. China’s art market is most famed as a tool of corruption — a piece of art is an elegant gift for an official — but can also be used in other forms of fraud. It doesn’t much matter if it is good, bad, or even fake.

Susan Grossey reports on increased global interest in another sector: fine French Wine:

Chinese criminals have joined their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in targeting French vineyards – not for tasting, but for owning….

[French anti-money-laundering agency Tracfin reported] that some buyers of vineyards were using “complex judicial arrangements with holding companies located in fiscally privileged countries”, making it difficult to establish the origin and legality of the funds brought into France.

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