Money muling: big risk to customers and banks
By Ankit Sharma
Dec 21, 2010
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Money laundering activities have increased manifold in the recent times causing potential threats to both banks as well as customers. The RBI has alerted both customers and banks against such activities.

Customers have been warned not to fall prey to lucrative offers coming on the web giving commissions for money transactions from their bank accounts. This way the customer unknowingly falls prey to such crime known as money muling. The customer whose bank account is used is referred to as the 'money mule.' However there have been cases where customers are also party to the crime on their free will.

"Of late, it has been brought to our notice that money mules can be used to launder the proceeds of fraud by criminals who gain illegal access to deposit accounts by recruiting third parties," said an RBI official. "The third parties may be innocent or they could be complicit in the crimes."

These money mules when caught get their accounts suspended which leads to financial losses on the part of the bank.

"People can fall into such a trap if they are greedy. They may feel there is nothing illegal in such a scheme and end up acting as conduits in money laundering," the official said.



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