Suspicious Activity Reporting Teach & Test

The Concept of “Knowledge”

The Concept of “Knowledge”
An important concept in the definition of money laundering is “knowledge”.  In the three definitions of Money Laundering, we saw the phrase “…knowing that it is derived from a criminal offense”.


The mental state of knowledge may be inferred from “objective factual circumstances”. This may be done by proving that someone;
  1. knows, or
  2. suspects, or
  3. has reasonable grounds to suspect


that the property was derived from crime.


“Willful blindness” is a legal principle that operates in money laundering cases. Courts define “willful blindness” as the “deliberate avoidance of knowledge of the facts” or “purposeful indifference”. Courts have held that willful blindness is the equivalent of actual knowledge of the illegal source of funds or of the intentions of a customer in a money laundering transaction.