Cleaning up money means giving "virginity" back to money from illegal activities. In the 1920s, in times of prohibition, illicit money in the US came from smuggling alcohol, and to recycle it, criminal gangs opened laundry chains, a business at the time.
This is why today we talk about "washing" of money. Today the "dirty" money comes mainly from drug trafficking, mafia activities, arms sales, and so on. To this end, through the opening of companies and current accounts in countries that guarantee anonymity (from Switzerland to Luxembourg, to the various tropical tax havens), money passes through electronic transfers that increasingly confuse their tracks, until they return to Country of origin to be re-invested in legal activities: hotels, restaurants, bars, real estate companies, supermarkets and productive activities of various kinds.
Drug trafficking in the world, according to some studies, generates about 500 billion dollars of money a year, just as the oil market does. A quantity capable of altering the economy, generating production activities much more competitive than those financed with licit money and at the same time threatening the stability of the systems thanks to its power of corruption of the authorities.
The most creative smugglers in the world GO TO GALLERY (N photos)
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