Washing money in Myanmar

To launder (v) = to wash

Laundry (n) = a place where things are washed

So, money laundering means washing money. It is a metaphor (we don't really wash money).

When money comes from illegal sources we call this dirty money. So, money gained from selling drugs, from prostitution, from selling stolen goods, from robberies, all of this money is dirty money.

Sometimes, criminals make so much dirty money that they have a problem. If they take a lot of money to a bank, the bank will ask them where the money came from.

So, they need to clean the dirty money. They need to launder it, to make it look as if the money has come from a legitimate source. Money-laundering is the business of taking a lot of dirty money and making it appear to have come from a legal business operation.


Read the five multiple choice questions below and identify keywords and any synonyms you know.

1. In relation to money-laundering, an international financial auditor has:

  1. ordered Myanmar to seize more dirty money

  2. encouraged Myanmar to improve its performance

  3. asked Myanmar to create a list of illegal organisations

2. To address the problem of money-laundering, the Myanmar government:

  1. is developing a plan

  2. has implemented a strategy

  3. has created a plan

3. The FATF:

  1. is a French organisation

  2. is an international organisation

  3. is a private agency

4. Major drug operations in Myanmar:

  1. are owned and operated by ethnic armed groups.

  2. are prevalent in all parts of the country.

  3. establish drug manufacturing factories in border areas.

5. The FATF believes that Myanmar:

  1. should tackle the money-laundering problem independently

  2. needs to improve its confiscation of criminal proceeds

  3. must enforce the financial laws more systematically

Now read this article about money laundering in Myanmar and find the answers to the five questions. When you are ready, enter your answers in the test sheet below and also complete the vocabulary matching exercise.


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