Trade-based money laundering: a systematic literature review

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This paper aims to offer the first known synthesis of peer-reviewed literature on trade-based money laundering (TBML). Given the topic is in its nascent stage yet gaining prominence across scholarship and practice, this foundation is pertinent for future TBML research.

A systematic literature review was undertaken with a formulaic search string. Both qualitative (thematic) and quantitative (meta) analysis methods were used to illustrate the findings.

The systematic literature review, using qualitative and quantitative synthesis, led to a thematic categorization of extant TBML literature into four categories: TBML risk assessment, TBML detection, the role of professionals and understanding of TBML. Due to the limited number of studies, insights that can be drawn from the extant literature on the best way to combat TBML are also limited.

As the first systematic literature review on TBML, this study identified that the existing TBML literature has focused on increasing the understanding of the phenomenon in terms of its definition and mechanisms, detection, linkage with other crimes, such as organized crime and terrorism financing, and risk assessment frameworks. The originality of these findings lies in identifying areas future researchers might explore to broaden the academic literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Accounting Literature
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jan 2024


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