Game talkVirtual money laundering in the news

 Posted by (Visited 6506 times)  Game talk
May 302007
 

Hmm, policy wonks are starting to notice.

This virtual world of role-playing games presents a number of challenges to US law enforcement. First and foremost, no specific laws apply to it. Second, by virtue of its anonymous and virtual nature, it is nearly impossible to track real money deposited into and cashed out of the game. Third, the challenge of identification is compounded by the fact that neither players nor recipients are subject to any rigorous due diligence beyond the disclosure of an e-mail address, and even that can be spoofed. Fourth, there are no limits on the amount of money – real or virtual – that may be used in the game. Furthermore, since there are no clear jurisdictions, violations of laws are hard to prosecute.Moving funds from one criminal/terrorist to another can work like this: A criminal/terrorist using fake IDs opens a virtual account in an online game. He then deposits real money via an ATM into his virtual account. With his virtual currency he buys virtual real estate from his co-conspirator and transfers virtual payment for the property to the seller’s virtual account. The seller then converts the virtual currency into real money and withdraws it from an ATM.

  3 Responses to “Virtual money laundering in the news”

  1. Suzie, my favorite (and should be yours) start up friendly, Toronto based lawyer, has a post up about meetings with VCs and why we do it. Some of the items on the list annoy me while at the same time I know she is generally dead on. … Virtual <b>money</b> laundering in the news Second, by virtue of its anonymous and virtual nature, it is nearly impossible to track real money deposited into and cashed out of the game. Third, the challenge of identification is compounded by the fact that neither players nor

  2. I don’t know Raph, I don’t see any difference on the receivers part. They still face the challenge of hiding the converted funds. Having said that, overall proving that the money came from a laundering operation would be very difficult; being a part of the game.

  3. [...] Habbo Hotel and the non-traditional spaces that seem to be growing in importance these days. Via Raph Koster, an article in the Middle Eastern Times reveals that mainstream media are beginning to take notice [...]

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