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Predicate Offenses: Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA



  Jun 22, 2024

Predicate Offenses: Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)



A predicate offense is a criminal activity that leads to illegal gains and serves as the basis for money laundering. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) designates specific offenses as predicate offenses, which are listed in a schedule divided into three parts: Part A, Part B, and Part C. The aim of identifying predicate offenses is to curb both illicitly gained wealth and legally acquired income that is concealed from public authorities.

Purpose of Predicate Offenses:

• To identify and prevent the concealment of illegally gained wealth.

• To ensure transparency and accountability for legally acquired income.

Examples of Predicate Offenses:

• Narcotrafficking: The illegal trade of drugs.
• Tax Evasion: The illegal act of not paying taxes owed.
• Murder: The unlawful killing of another person.
• Grievous Bodily Harm: Severe physical injury inflicted on someone.
• Corruption: Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power.
• Fraud: Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial gain.
• Smuggling: The illegal movement of goods into or out of a country.
• Human Trafficking: The illegal trade of humans for purposes such as forced labor or sexual exploitation.
• Illegal Wildlife Trafficking: The illegal trade of animals and plants.
• Forgery: The act of falsely making or altering a document with the intent to deceive.

Legal Context:

• The Supreme Court has ruled that charges under the PMLA cannot stand alone without a predicate offense. This means that for money laundering charges to be valid, they must be based on an underlying criminal activity, referred to as a predicate offense.

• Offenses under the PMLA are considered “parasitic,” relying on the existence of a predicate offense to substantiate money laundering charges.

By understanding the role and examples of predicate offenses, authorities can better target and prevent money laundering activities, ensuring that illegally gained wealth and concealed income are properly addressed.




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