PhD Research Project

Scottish based anti-money laundering operations: police inter-agency co-operation across jurisdictions

Supervisor: Dr Maria O'Neill University of Abertay Dundee

PhD Student: Maureen Egan University of Abertay Dundee

            Maria O'Neill's website...

Aims & Objectives:

In light of the SCDEA developing their money laundering unit as a centre of EU excellence, Europol developing a European Criminal Assets Bureau, and the third EC money laundering directive about to come into force across the EC, this research will develop around three focal points. Taking into consideration the distinctive nature of policing in Scotland, the devolved government structure under the Scotland Act 1998, and separate legal system within which it operates, this research will look at the anti-money laundering institutional overlaps, gaps and conflicts within Scotland (Focus 1). The interaction between Scottish law enforcement agencies and that of the rest of the UK (Focus 2) and across the EC/EU (Focus 3) will also be critically examined, taking as our perspective the impact of European Union laws and structures on police practice in Scotland. This will include the process of evidence gathering and mechanisms for the freezing and recovery of assets, to include the use of letters of request and rogatory letters in cross jurisdictional investigations.

The laundering of profits from organized crime is a sophisticated and complex operation often involving 'digital crime'. Most police forces, despite their portrayal as "knowledge workers" do not have the human and/or technical resources to regulate this problem, or to enable them to follow the kind of paper trail left by a money-laundering operation. The PhD student will investigate issues grounded in the 'traditional reluctance' of security, intelligence and policing to share information, thus highlighting the extent to which inter-agency conflict may or may not shape the regulation of money-laundering activities. It is intended to interview police staff based in specialist money laundering units in the specified forces, and to ask them about inter-agency inter-jurisdictional money laundering activity in light of the EC/EU regulatory and policing framework.

Therefore, we aim;


Links to publications will be added here in due course.


Please follow the following links for further information on current Research Opportunities