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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: INTL453 Course ID: 3216 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Modern criminal business, to include drug trafficking, trafficking in people or weapons, gold and precious gem smuggling, and even terrorism are reliant on how such activities are funded. Without some form of funding, illicit actors and illicit behaviors would have difficulty existing. This course will explore the shadowy world of illicit finance, from money laundering to Hawalas, to fraud, trade, and corruption used to fund illicit actions.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1 Analyze basic theories that explain illicit finance, illicit trade, and money laundering.

CO-2 Examine how dirty money can drive the world economy.

CO-3 Examine the role of transnational organizations in turning “bad money” into good hiding resources.

CO-4 Evaluate global funding of international terrorism, organized crime, and trafficking/smuggling of illicit and/or counterfeit materials.

CO-5 Assess the impact of international anti-money laundering strategies, laws and policies for both legal and illicit businesses. Determine the significance of the virtual money within the realms of illicit finance.

Forum discussions – 25 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post of 350 words by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates with 150 words by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Assignment 1 The Hawala Remittance System - 25 percent

Describe, design and illustrate a Hawala transfer. Students are to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the origin, history, and logistical details of the Hawala remittance system. The concepts presented have to be consistent with real time applications and feasible within the parameters of the materials presented in the class. Students will demonstrate a necessary scope of fluidity with the design

Assignment 2 - The Global Economy and Illicit Finance - 25 percent

Assignment 2 – Describe, design and illustrate the process of funds gained through illicit finance and how they are a part of the global economy. Students are to graphically depict the current international controls that are in place to regulate illicit financial flows. An emphasis will be placed on depicting emerging markets and developing countries with a demonstration of local, regional, global impacts. Students will be encouraged to look for gaps in money that is laundered through corruption, criminal acts and commercial fraud. The overarching goal is to demonstrate the impact of illicit funds on the global market and to represent the complexity of the financial side of dark networks in a globalized economy.

Money Laundering Case Scenario – 25 percent

Case Scenario: Money Laundering. Students are to graphically depict a fictional case scenario where illicit funds are 'laundered' and then reintegrated into the licit economy. An emphasis will be placed on variables that accurately depict principle areas of laundering funds to include placement, layering, and integration. The overarching goal is to demonstrate the process of laundering illicit funds based on current research and scenarios to represent the complexity of the financial side of dark networks in a globalized economy.

Required Course Reading listed in the E-Reserves

  • Aluko, Ayodeji, and Mahmood Bagheri. 2012. The impact of money laundering on economic and financial stability and on political development in developing countries. Journal of Money Laundering Control 15 (4): 442-57.
  • Ballard, Roger. 2005. Coalitions of reciprocity and the maintenance of financial integrity within informal value transmission systems: The operational dynamics of contemporary hawala networks. Journal of Banking Regulation 6 (4) (Aug 2005): 319-52.
  • Chambers, Clare. 2012. Can you ever regulate the virtual world against economic crime? Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology 7 (4): 339-49.
  • Fletcher, Nigel. 2007. Challenges for regulating financial fraud in cyberspace. Journal of Financial Crime 14 (2): 190-207,
  • Freeman, Michael, Michael Freeman, and Moyara Ruehsen. 08. Terrorism financing methods: An overview. Perspectives on Terrorism (Lowell) 7 (4) (/01/2013).
  • Herbert, Matt. 2014. Partisans, profiteers, and criminals: Syria's illicit economy. The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 38 (1) (Winter 2014): 69-86.
  • Jonas Rusten Wang. 2011. Regulating hawala: A comparison of five national approaches. Journal of Money Laundering Control 14 (3): 210-24.
  • Keene, Shima D. 2011; 2012. Emerging threats: Financial crime in the virtual world. Journal of Money Laundering Control 15 (1): 25-37.
  • Levitt, Matthew. 2013. Hezbollah’s organized criminal enterprises in europe. Perspectives on Terrorism 7 (4).
  • Mihu, Stefan. 2012. Tax havens and the money laundering phenomenon. Economics, Management and Financial Markets 7 (4) (Dec 2012): 386-96.
  • Nesvetailova, Anastasia, and Ronen Palan. 2014. Offshore finance and shadow banking: Regulation of the dark corners of the financial system. Banking & Financial Services Policy Report 33 (5) (May 2014): 19-30.
  • Rudner, Martin. 2010. Hizbullah terrorism finance: Fund-raising and money-laundering. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 33 (8): 700-15.
  • S.M. Irwin, Angela, Jill Slay, Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo, and Lin Lui. 2014. Money laundering and terrorism financing in virtual environments: A feasibility study. Journal of Money Laundering Control 17 (1): 50-75.
  • Samantha Maitland Irwin, Angela, Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo, and Lin Liu. 2012. Modelling of money laundering and terrorism financing typologies. Journal of Money Laundering Control 15 (3): 316-35.
  • Schott, Paul Allan. 2006. Reference guide to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. 2nd and supplement on Special Recommendation IX. ed. US: World Bank Publications.
  • Serio, Joseph D. 2004. Fueling global crime: The mechanics of money laundering. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 18 (3) (11): 435-44.
  • Singh, Kavid. 2015. The new wild west: Preventing money laundering in the bitcoin network. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 13 (1): 37.
  • Weibing, Peng. 2011. Research on money laundering crime under electronic payment background. Journal of Computers 6 (1) (Jan 2011): 147-54.
  • Zagaris, Bruce. 2007. Problems applying traditional anti-money laundering procedures to non-financial transactions, "parallel banking systems" and islamic financial systems. Journal of Money Laundering Control 10 (2): 157-69.
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.