Presentation on theme: "Estimating the Illicit Flows – Asking the Right Questions"— Presentation transcript:
1Estimating the Illicit Flows – Asking the Right Questions John WalkerCEO, John Walker Crime Trends AnalysisPrincipal Research Fellow, Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, University of Wollongong, Australia
2Illicit Financial Flows Put simply, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries consist of quantities of money derived from crimes committed in those countries.Official definitions of crime vary between countries, although there is consensus about most forms of crime.Contentious areas include business practices considered as fraudulent in some countries but not in others (e.g. payments of bribes and false invoicing), and some areas of excise avoidance (e.g. cigarette smuggling).This paper takes a broad view that acts that would be crimes or illegal business practices in countries with sophisticated legal systems must also be regarded as crimes or illegal business practices in developing countries.Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries are, therefore, part of the broader issue of transnational crime and moneylaundering.
3Asking the Right Questions about Transnational Crime and Moneylaundering It is difficult to explain the importance of a problem without quantifying it. (Neil Jensen, Director, AUSTRAC, 2005)FinCen’s “overriding objective” under the strategic plan is the development of a “viable model for measuring the magnitude of moneylaundering.” “No assessment of an agency’s or government’s anti-moneylaundering programs can be a true gauge of its effectiveness, unless it is based on an understanding of the breadth of the problem being addressed”. (FinCEN Strategic Plan, 2000)“The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root, and prepare wonderful diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes, in the first instance, from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases”. (English economist Sir Josiah Stamp, 1929)"Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is... It's your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best." (British actor, Sir Laurence Olivier)“…..blending dodgy data and heroic assumption and turning them into something particularly useful” (Dutch criminologist, Max Kommer)“Accuracy is meaningless – credibility is everything”. (Me)These are common claims - are they true?
4The Right Questions about Transnational Crime and Moneylaundering HowMuchCrimeis there?HowMuchProfitis therein theCrime?WhatProportionof theProfitsisLaundered?Wheredoes itgo forLaundering?Other researchers were trying to analyse financial data to identify the extent of moneylaundering, but my approach was quite different. I saw that moneylaundering involved many stages – “placement”, “layering” and “integration” – and the same money could go through many different transactions in the laundering process. Counting financial transaction data was therefore certain to involve double – or even multiple – counting.To measure moneylaundering, we had to start – again – from “how much crime is there?”; “how much profit is there in the crime?”; and then ask “what proportion of the profits are laundered”. Only then is it safe to ask “where does it go for laundering?” and what impact does it have on society?”.How doesit impacton Society?
5These are Very important Questions 1. How much crime is there around the world, and where is it based?2. How big are crime profits around the world, and where are they generated?3. What factors make crime more profitable in some countries than others?4. What factors make some countries more attractive to ML than others?5. How much money is laundered each year around the world?6. How much harm is caused by crime and ML, and who suffers most?
6So who is asking them? Up to the 1980s Most countries compile crime statistics. Only measures recorded crime. Accuracy doubts; rigging by police, politicians; counting rules.Interpol collects crime data from member countries – no consistency, no analysis, not even computerised until the late 1990s. Only measures recorded crime.Crime Victims Surveys developed in the 1970s (USA, UK) to capture data on a common set of definitions and on unrecorded crime. Limited crime types, costly, political risk, little interest in other countries.In the 1980s, the U.N. attempted to compile international crime and justice statistics on a common set of definitions – very problematic, poor response, little consistency, poorly resourced.Transnational crime analysis mostly country-specific, offence specific or confined to studies of mafia, yakuza, drug gangs etcTransparency International experimenting with corruption and bribery indexes.
7Measuring the Risks posed by Transnational Crime and Moneylaundering 1988United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;EU decides to conduct Europe-wide crime survey. Australia, USA, Canada join in. Questions include “did you report it to police?” and “how much did it cost you?”1989FATF Working Group on Statistics and Methods, “Narcotics ML – Assessment of the Scale of the Problem” notes the lack of reliable data to measure ML.1990EU Convention on laundering, search, seizure and confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime.FATF’s “Forty Recommendations“ on the prevention of money laundering.U.N. Rome conference agrees to pilot Business Crime survey, including reporting and costs questions. Australia, UK, Netherlands, South Africa.1991EU Directive on prevention of the use of the financial system for purpose of money laundering.1992Estimates of the Costs of Crime in Australia – a model for the U.N.1995Estimates of the Extent of money laundering in Australia – a model for the FATF.UN Office on Drugs and CrimeRefinement of International Crime and Justice Surveys, International Crime Victims Surveys, Business Crime Surveys“Global Report on Crime and Justice” attempts to bring together data on economics of transnational crimeAttempts to survey the characteristics of organised crime groups in different countries
8Measuring the Risks posed by Transnational Crime and Moneylaundering June 1997FATF creates “Ad Hoc Group on Estimating the Magnitude of Money Laundering”Sept 1997Ad Hoc Group’s Chair agrees to draft a paper to suggest methodologies to measure ML – calls for papers from member countries.Feb 1998Interim report from ChairmanIdentifies AUSTRAC study as a landmark study, examines four macro-economic methodologies identified by FINCEN-sponsored studies, and concludes that future studies should be[a] confined to FATF members, [b] focused on a wide range of crimes that generate criminal proceeds.Dec 1998FATF International Meeting of Experts on Estimating the magnitude of MLDisappointing level of participationMost countries’ contributions focused on official statisticsDiscussion of relationship between underground economic activity and MLSwitzerland attempts to have the work focus on ML from drug crimes, arguing that crimes involving theft, fraud and corruption are “regarded as simply transfers of wealth”.Finland paper focuses on fraud.Australian paper presents complete methodology.Conclusions:Need for greater participation from all FATF member countriesInitial focus to be on estimating “the supply and demand for illegal drugs”
9The Rich Countries’ Club fails to Deliver FATF efforts to “estimate the magnitude of ML” failed on 5 key counts:Focus on incomplete range of crime types – drugs onlyFocus on incomplete range of illicit drugs - Cocaine, Marihuana, Heroin onlyFocus on incomplete range of countries - rich north-Atlantic countries onlyFocus on statistical “purity”Avoidance of “proceeds of crime” logicIntended to fail………….?Need to provoke more constructive discussion.Feb 2000 FATF Technical Workshop for Estimating the Magnitude of Drug Trafficking Proceeds *“The Workshop again suffered from poor attendance of member countries”.“The morning two sessions of the first day … were completely dominated by international organisations and US drug people. The debate was technical and irrelevant for this Ad Hoc Group”.Agreed that Dr Peter Reuter prepare draft report – only “Cocaine, Marihuana and Heroin”, covering “only North America and Europe”, and “won’t cover drug trafficking proceed”.“Peter Reuter proposed to focus only two regions – North America and EU, rather than global estimate, because sightly better data sets available”… “This means that AD Hoc Group will further retreat from its purpose while ML is really worldwide issue”.“UK again induced the workshop to focus on real issue and argued for looking at Australian paper because it has been the only study focussing on intermediate level (trafficking side) and worldwide estimate so far”.“It was quite clear, at this stage, US had no intention to change its mind and other member countries just spent their time.”* Notes from UK Treasury representative
10What next?Need to provoke discussion, in the absence of any real progress within the UN or FATF.Can the Australian model be used for other countries around the world?
11The 1996 Australian Model Identifies Upper and Lower Bounds TE = Total EconomyCosts of crime are part of the Economy. Proceeds of crime are a subset of costs. Some proceeds of crime are laundered, but some laundered money also comes from outside the economy. Terrorist finance may not have criminal origins and is not necessarily laundered. “Known” components are very small subsets of their respective estimated totals. [Not to scale]TC = Total Costs of CrimeTP = Total Proceeds of CrimeKP = Known Proceedsof CrimeTM = TotalMoney LaunderingKM = KnownMoney LaunderingTT = TotalTerrorist FinancingKT = Known Terrorist FinancingI had already demonstrated to FATF my methodology for estimating the extent of ML in and through Australia.The costs of crime are part of the Economy. Proceeds of crime are a subset of the costs. Some proceeds of crime are laundered, but some is simply spent by the criminals and does not go through any laundering-like process. Some laundered money also comes from outside the economy, from crimes committed in other countries.This means that, not only do we have upper and lower limits to our estimates, based on the likely extent and profitability of crime, but we can also use a wide range of other economic data to triangulate towards the most credible estimates.Since September 2001, we have been told that terrorists use laundered money to commit their crimes, but terrorist finance is different from the proceeds of crime – it may not have criminal origins and is not necessarily laundered.“Known” components are very small subsets of their respective estimated totals. This means that, not only do we have upper and lower limits to our estimates, based on the likely extent and profitability of crime, but we can also use a wide range of other economic data, including estimates of the size of the economy and of imports and exports, to triangulate towards the most credible estimates of the extent of economic crime and moneylaundering.Incoming Money Laundering
12Estimates of ML in and through Australia (1996) Estimates based on Costs of Crime and Expert SurveyEstimated Proceeds of CrimeImplied ML Estimates for Australia ($mill)Crime Category/MinMid1Mid2MaxHomicide Max $2.75m<1Robbery & Extortion $74.4m2245Other Violence Min $3.31mBreaking and Entering $714.4m1471500Insurance Fraud $1530m3877153306Business Fraud $375 - $900m56225540900Other Fraud $750m113188600Motor Vehicle Thefts $533.6m2753187480Other Thefts $462-882116347Environmental Crime $5.21-2Illicit Drugs $1500m30075010501350Total $ $7661m402139423284536My methodology involved estimating the proceeds of crime in Australia, and the proportion of those proceeds that are likely to be laundered. I started from the estimates of the extent of recorded and unrecorded crime, and took only the property loss components of the costs, as being equal to the proceeds of crime. These proceeds sometimes have to be heavily discounted, depending on the crime type, because of course if you are selling stolen goods, you will happily accept a lower than market value price for them. However, when the crime is fraud, there are no actual goods to dispose of, so the income from fraud is almost all proceeds of crime.Finding no actual data that could measure the extent of laundering, I conducted an expert survey to determine the proportions of proceeds likely to be laundered. The proportions differed between crime types, and in general the smaller the returns per crime, the less likely that the proceeds would be laundered.
13Importance of Triangulating with Other Data Estimates based on Costs of Crime and Expert Survey compared to:Estimates based on Proceeds of Crime MonitoringEstimates Based on Understatement of Income DataEstimates Based on Suspect Financial TransactionsEstimates Based on Flows of Finance through Australian Banks and International TransfersI then “triangulated” these resulting estimates with other data, includingEstimates based on Proceeds of Crime Monitoring (Police/Prosecutions data)Estimates Based on Understatement of Income Data (Income Tas assessment data)Estimates Based on Suspect Financial Transactions (Austrac data)Estimates Based on Flows of Finance through Australian Banks and International Transfers (Austrac/National Accounts data)
14Estimates of ML in and through Australia (1996) Overseas Money laundered overseas$US billion?OverseasEconomy$US20,000billionCosts ofCrimeThe Australian Economy$380 billionP.o.C.Costs of Crime$11-21 billionMLAnd these are the resulting estimates:In a total Australian economy of (then) $380 billion, it was estimated that the costs of crime were $11-21 billion per annum, of which $6-8 billion were proceeds of crime. Of these, between $1-4.5 billion was laundered.Looking at the disparities between imports and exports of goods and services and inflows and outflows of financial transactions, it appeared likely that large amounts of money were being laundered in or through Australia, generated by crime in other countries. Unfortunately, because no similar research had been done in other countries, that could not be confirmed.But these estimates have been widely accepted – their accuracy can never be ascertained, but their credibility is unchallenged, and the Australian Government has been comfortable in using them as evidence for the need for AML controls.Australian Money laundered overseas$5.5 billion?Overseas Money laundered in Australia$7.7 billion?Proceeds of Crime$6-8 billionAustralian Money laundered in AustraliaML$1-4.5 billion
15“Just do it…..!”Is there enough basic data to construct a global model?
16How much Crime around the World? U.N. Crime & Justice Survey
17Triangulate with other Data …Banks and Businesses rarely report crime, because they think it will adversely affect their “image”Source:
18Measuring the Proceeds of Crime “Crime in Australia costs $A11-21 bn, and profits are $A6-8 bn per year”(John Walker Crime Trends Analysis, 1996)"Illegal grey economy in Czech Republic about 10% of GDP”(Hospodárské Noviny, 2 Apr 98)"$30bill illegal drugs reach the US from Mexico each year"(Chicago Tribune, 25 Mar 98)"Shadow business in Russia's economy may range between 25% -50%"(TASS 17 Mar 98)"UK black economy between 7-13% of GDP"(Sunday Telegraph, 29 Mar 98)"$50-250bn illegally moved from Russia to Western banks in 5 years"(Russian Interior & Economics Ministries, April 99)"Illicit drug sales (in the USA) generated up to $48bn a year in profits"(Congressional hearing, April 99)"Illegal profits total 2-5% of world GDP or $1-3trillion"(Dow Jones News, 12 Mar 98)
19About Criminal Income Crime generates income in all countries Income from crime depends on the prevalence of different types of crime and the average proceeds per crimeSophisticated and organised crimes generate more income per crime than simpler and individual crimesCrimes that trade on “forbidden goods” like drugs, arms, pornography, slave labour, copyrights, migration visas etc, are particularly profitableIn general, richer countries generate more income per crime than poor onesIncome inequality or corruption may support a rich criminal class even in a poor countryNot all criminal income is laundered - Even criminals have to eat, sleep, drive fast cars, and pay accountants and lawyersIf you like algebraTotal Criminal Profits to be Laundered =Total Population times GNP/Capita times:700*(TI Corruption Index)*(Bribery+Embezzlement+Fraud rates) +500*Drug Trafficking rate + 100*Theft rate + 65*Burglary rate +50* Drug Possession rate + 20*Robbery rate + 0.2*Homicide rate +0.1*(Assault rate + Sex Assault rate)It appeared therefore that I had at least the bare bones of the data required. The basic structure took me a weekend to develop, in Excel, and I was lucky that a former AIC colleague had recently completed an international risk assessment, including several measures of economic and political stability, which I was able to access.The assumptions I built into the model about criminal income were:. Crime generates income in all countriesIncome from crime depends on the prevalence of different types of crime and the average proceeds per crimeSophisticated and organised crimes generate more income per crime than simpler and individual crimesIn general, richer countries generate more income per crime than poor onesIncome inequality or corruption may support a rich criminal class even in a poor countryNot all criminal income is laundered - Even criminals have to eat, sleep, drive fast cars, and pay accountants and lawyersIf you like algebraTotal Criminal Profits to be Laundered =Total Population times GNP/Capita times:700*(TI Corruption Index)*(Bribery+Embezzlement+Fraud rates) +500*Drug Trafficking rate + 100*Theft rate + 65*Burglary rate +50* Drug Possession rate + 20*Robbery rate + 0.2*Homicide rate +0.1*(Assault rate + Sex Assault rate)All parameters based on my Australian estimates model.The first line here expresses the assumption that criminal income is related to the country’s income per capita.The second expresses the idea that income from fraud is higher in countries where corruption and bribery are common.The other assumptions make the proceeds of different types of crime similar in proportion to those in Australia.These are all supportable assumptions, in the absence of any existing research of this kind.
21Resulting Estimates of Money Generation by Crime Type by World Region $US bill/yr Note: the big numbers come from fraud not drugs
22Assumptions about Laundering Processes Not all laundered money leaves the countrySome countries' finance sectors provide perfect cover for local launderersCountries where official corruption is common provide benign environments for launderersLaundered money seeks countries with attractive banking regimesTax Havens"No questions asked" bankingCountries with stable economies and low riskTrading, ethnic and linguistic links will determine launderers' preferred destinationsOther things being equal, "hot" money will be attracted to havens with trading, ethnic, linguistic or geographic links to the generating countryIf you like algebraAttractiveness to money launderers =[GNP per capita] *[3*BankSecrecy+GovAttitude+SWIFTmember-3*Conflict-Corruption +15]Where: GNP per capita is measured in US$, BankSecrecy is a scale from 0 (no secrecy laws) to 5 (bank secrecy laws enforced), GovAttitude is a scale from 0 (government anti-laundering) to 4 (tolerant of laundering), SWIFTmember is 0 for non-member countries and 1 for members of the SWIFT international fund transfer network, Conflict is a scale from 0 (no conflict situation) to 4 (conflict situation exists),Corruption is the modified Transparency International index (1=low, 5=high corruption), And the constant '15' ensures that all scores are greater than zero.The assumptions I built into the model about laundering processes were:Not all laundered money leaves the countrySome countries' finance sectors provide perfect cover for local launderersCountries where official corruption is common provide benign environments for launderersLaundered money seeks countries with attractive banking regimesTax Havens"No questions asked" bankingCountries with stable economies and low riskTrading, ethnic and linguistic links will determine launderers' preferred destinationsOther things being equal, "hot" money will be attracted to havens with trading, ethnic, linguistic or geographic links to the generating countryIf you like algebraAttractiveness to money launderers =[GNP per capita] *[3*BankSecrecy+GovAttitude+SWIFTmember-3*Conflict-Corruption +15]Where: GNP per capita is measured in US$, BankSecrecy is a scale from 0 (no secrecy laws) to 5 (bank secrecy laws enforced), GovAttitude is a scale from 0 (government anti-laundering) to 4 (tolerant of laundering), SWIFTmember is 0 for non-member countries and 1 for members of the SWIFT international fund transfer network, Conflict is a scale from 0 (no conflict situation) to 4 (conflict situation exists),Corruption is the modified Transparency International index (1=low, 5=high corruption), And the constant '15' ensures that all scores are greater than zero.This measure of attractiveness is based in the gravity model concepts. I actually was not in a position to measure the impacts of trading, ethnic or linguistic links, and chose to use the standard gravity model “square of the distance between the countries” measure, which appeared to work quite well as a first step.
23Model Index: Most Attractive to Launderers COUNTRY ScoreLuxembourgUnited StatesSwitzerlandCayman IslandsAustriaNetherlandsLiechtensteinVatican CityUnited KingdomSingaporeHong KongIrelandBermudaBahamas, Andorra, Brunei, Norway, Iceland, CanadaPortugal, Denmark, Sweden, Monaco, Japan, Finland,Germany, New Zealand, Australia, BelgiumBahrain, Qatar, Italy, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates,Barbados, Malta, France, CyprusGibraltar, Azores (Spain), Canary Islands, Greenland,Belarus, Spain, Israel
24Triangulation: Attractiveness to ML: Service Exports and Incoming Money Laundering A further source of triangulation for estimates of money laundering is the UN’s statistics on services exports. When computed as a percentage of GNP, these figures clearly show which countries have unusually strong financial services exports. These countries include most of the Caribbean tax havens and some of the larger centres including Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore. In many countries, these data can be interpreted as measuring the capacity of the financial sector to support money laundering.The next slide shows how a study of finance and business regulation in each country can measure the “willingness” of a country’s financial sector to support money laundering.
25Triangulation: Attractiveness to ML: Banking Risk Analysis TRANSCRIME “Euroshore” project 1. Money laundering punished in your criminal system?2. Legislation provides for a list of crimes as predicate offences?3. Predicate offences cover all serious crimes?4. Predicate offences cover all crimes?5. Provision allowing confiscation of assets for an ML offence?6. Special investigative bodies or investigations in relation to ML offences?1. Is there an anti-ML law in the jurisdiction?2. Banks covered by the anti-ML law?3. Other financial institutions covered by the anti-ML law?4. Non-financial institutions covered by the anti-ML law?5. Other professions carrying out a financial activity covered by the anti-ML law?6. ID requirements for the institutions covered by the anti-money law?7. Suspicious transactions reporting?8. Central authority (for instance, an FIU) for the collection of suspicious transactions reports?9. Co-operation between banks or other financial institutions and police authorities?1. Prohibition to open a bank account without ID of the beneficial owner?2. Limits to bank secrecy in case of criminal investigation and prosecution?1. Minimum share capital required for limited liability companies?2. Prohibition on bearer shares in limited liability companies?3. Prohibition on legal entities as directors of limited liability companies?4. Registered office exists for limited liability companies?5. Any form of annual auditing (at least internal) for limited liability companies?6. Shareholder register exists for limited liability companies?1. Extradition (at least of foreigners) for ML offences?2. Assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies in investigation of ML cases?3. Law enforcement may respond to a request from a foreign country for financial records?4. Provision allowing the sharing of confiscated assets for ML offences?5. The 1988 UN Convention been ratified?CRIMINAL LAWADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONSBANKING LAWCOMPANY LAWINTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION PROVISIONSTranscrime & Walker Attractiveness IndicesI was an adviser to the Italian research group TransCrime, led by Professor Ernesto Savona, in their work for the European Union, analysing the impacts of the Criminal Law, Administrative Regulations, Banking Law, Company Law and International Co-operation Provisions on moneylaundering. Using a simple questionnaire-type framework, the analysis gives a sort of credit rating to each country’s finance sector, depending on how laundry-friendly or laundry-proof it is. As the chart shows, the results of such analysis can identify those countries whose regulations leave gaps for money launderers to wriggle through.The potential for money laundering through a country’s banking sector is the product of its capacity to launder and its willingness to launder. These charts suggest that it may be possible to measure both of these aspects.
26…Putting all this information together... Model’s Top 10 Origins of Laundered MoneyRank Origin Amount ($Usmill/yr) % of Total1 United States %2 Italy %3 Russia %4 China %5 Germany %6 France %7 Romania %8 Canada %9 United Kingdom %10 Hong Kong %
27Model’s Top 10 Flows of Laundered Money Rank Origin Destination Amount ($USmill/yr) % of Total1 United States United States %2 United States Cayman Islands %3 Russia Russia %4 Italy Italy %5 China China %6 Romania Romania %7 United States Canada %8 United States Bahamas %9 France France %10 Italy Vatican City %
28Model’s Top 10 ML Destinations Rank Destination Amount ($Usmill/yr) % of Total1 United States %2 Cayman Islands %3 Russia %4 Italy %5 China %6 Romania %7 Canada %8 Vatican City %9 Luxembourg %10 France %
29Model results compared to Press reports "Illegal grey economy in Czech Republic about 10% of GDP” (Hospodárské Noviny, 2 Apr 98)Model estimates 14.8% of GDP"$30bill illegal drugs reach the US from Mexico each year" (Chicago Tribune, 25 Mar 98)Model estimates $26bill laundered in Mexico each year“More than $2bill is laundered in Poland each year" (National Bank of Poland, reported on 15 Apr 98)Model estimates $3bill laundered in Poland each year"Share of shadow business in Russia's economy may range between 25% -50%" (TASS 17 Mar 98)Model estimates money laundering 15% of Russian GDP"Switzerland is implicated in $500bill of money laundering each year" (Swiss Finance Ministry, reported on 26 Mar 98)Model estimates $59bill - including only "first-stage" laundering."UK black economy between 7-13% of GDP" (Sunday Telegraph, 29 Mar 98)Model estimates total money laundering 7.4% of UK GDP"$50-250bn illegally moved from Russia to Western banks in 5 years" (Russian Interior & Economics Ministries, April 99)Model estimates $28bn per year from Russia to western banks"Money Laundering in Belarus about 30% of GDP" (European Humanities University, 20 Nov 98)Model estimates 22.2% of Belarus GDP is laundered money"Illicit funds generated and laundered in Canada per year $5-17 bn" (Canadian Solicitor General, Sep 1998)Model estimates $22bill generated and laundered in Canada each year,but also that $63bn of US crime funds laundered in Canada."Approximately $2.7bn are laundered in Colombia each year" (BBC Monitoring Service, Nov 98)Model estimates $2.1bn laundered in Colombia every year"Illicit drug sales (in the USA) generated up to 48bn a year in profits for laundering" (Congressional hearing, April 99)Model estimates $34.6bn generated and laundered by illicit drug trade in USA"Illegal profits total 2-5% of world GDP or $1-3trillion" (Dow Jones News, 12 Mar 98)Model estimates total global money laundering $2.85 trillionI monitored the internet and press reports to find estimates that could be compared with the results of the model,But after late 1999, I found that most people were lazily copying the results from my website, rather than doing their own research.After late 1999, it became apparent that most published estimates were based on my model
30Triangulation: Shadow Economy, Crime and Money Laundering All rich countries have low % shadow economies“Excess” shadow economy might be an indicator of the proceeds of crime.Many of the richest countries with high % shadow economies have significant transnational crime, illicit drug production and corrupt business practices.However, I soon began to find other researchers following interesting aspects of economic crime.Austrian economist Friedrich Schneider published some interesting estimates of shadow economy in a range of different countries. I found that I produced some interesting results by comparing his estimates of shadow economy against GDP per capita. Unsurprisingly, his analysis suggests that the poorer countries have higher percentages of shadow economy than the rich countries, and there appears to be a nice “J”-curve on the graph. Those countries to the left of the curve – lower than expected shadow economy - (blue, including China) tend to have “command” economies in which the shadow economy is suppressed. Those to the right of the line (red) appear to have significant transnational crime, illicit drug production and corrupt business practices.But this analysis seems to identify “excess” shadow economy in some countries, often those with a reputation for “mafia-type” organised crime, including Italy, Russia and Colombia, and the excess can be measured as a proportion of the countries’ GDPs. It is too soon to know whether this form of analysis can successfully identify the proceeds of organised crime in specific countries – but it is at least extremely interesting.On this basis, the shadow economy in Australia would produce around AU$20 billion per year, some of which laundered.Poor countries with low % shadow economies aremostly “command economies”Source: F. Schneider and J. Walker.
31Triangulation: Cross-border flow Analysis (Raymond Baker, 2005) Global FlowsLow ($US bn)High ($US bn)Drugs$120$200Counterfeit goods$80Counterfeit currency$3Human trafficking$12$15Illegal arms trade$6$10Smuggling$60$100Racketeering$50Crime Subtotal$331$549Mispricing$250Abusive transfer pricing$300$500Fake transactionsCommercial Subtotal$700$1000Corruption$30Grand Total$1061$1599This view is supported by Raymond Baker’s interesting work on cross-border flow analysis. It is based only on a review of studies of transnational crime, and the data may not be internally consistent, but this is another essential research technique in its own right. Each of these figures can potentially serve as a credibility check on any estimates we are able to generate.He estimates that criminals in the rich countries around the world are transferring from the poorer countries something like ten times the amount of aid, given by the rich countries to the poor. This, it seems to me, is the most important reason why we need to focus on the economics of crime. International crime prevention strategies should not only benefit the rich countries.From “Capitalism’s Achilles Heel”, Baker Based on a review of studies of transnational crime
32Triangulation: the Economics of the Global Illicit Drugs Trades By 2005 UNODC researchers were convinced they had sufficient data in their Annual Reports Questionnaires to develop a global model of the illicit drugs market.ARQs received from most countries around the world – all continents; rich/poor; developed/less developed countries.We developed mechanisms for testing the credibility of ARQ data from different countries by comparing them with other ARQ data and other studies.We developed mechanisms for filling the gaps in the data, by classifying different countries and “interpolating”.We identified the economic logic of the illicit drugs trades.We identified ways to deduce the “trade routes” of the illicit drugs trades, by comparing “mentions”, and developed this into a “tracking model” that can explain corruption levels in transit countries.I next got my chance to examine the economics of the global illicit drugs trades. By 2004 UNODC researchers were convinced they had sufficient data in their Annual Reports Questionnaires to develop a global model of the illicit drugs market – regardless of being repeated told that it “can’t be done”. I received a phone call from Vienna in late 2004 inviting me to demonstrate how I believed the economics of the global illicit drugs trades could be modelled.ARQs received from most countries around the world – all continents; rich/poor; developed/less developed countries.We developed mechanisms for testing the credibility of ARQ data from different countries by comparing them with other ARQ data and other studies.We developed mechanisms for filling the gaps in the data, by classifying different countries and “interpolating”.We identified the economic logic of the illicit drugs trades.We identified ways to deduce the “trade routes” of the illicit drugs trades, by comparing “mentions”, and developed this into a “tracking model” that can explain corruption levels in transit countries.
33The Economics of the Illicit Drugs Trades Finally, we can aggregate the economic models of all the drug types, to see the incomes and profits of entire global illicit drugs trades. Again, it is very significant that prohibition makes traffickers in the rich countries very rich, and only gives relatively modest rewards to the producers, who are mostly in the poorer regions. Note the bottom line gross income of $311 USbillion – well below the Baker figures for total frauds and business crime, and not much more than Zdanowicz’s estimates of transfer pricing frauds in the USA alone.
34General Conclusions from the Model Global money laundering may be as much as $US3 trillion per annumBusiness Fraud exceeds illicit drugs as a source of laundered moneyAttacking the economics of crime can be an effective transnational crime prevention strategy.Economists can play a valuable role in monitoring and combating transnational crime and money laundering.Does AML reduce crime? – Probably not by much.Does AML reduce ML? – Probably not much, but it diverts it from the finance sectors to more costly avenues.Does AML help catch criminals? – Probably only a few, but sometimes very important ones.Does AML protect the economy? – Probably a massive boost to the economy by ensuring that the finance sector is seen as honest, wary and supervised.
35Model Estimates of ML Flows from Developing Countries Region…………………………………………………………………………………….Total US$ MillionCaribbean6,452Central America2,525Central Asia and Transcaucasian countries15,201East Africa3,559East and South-East Asia (Excl. Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Rep of Korea)444,536East Europe176,963Near and Middle East /South-West Asia (Excl Israel)12,213North Africa4,178Oceania (Exc Australia, NZ)209South America30,361South Asia3,465Southeast Europe129,512Southern Africa14,321West and Central Africa3,278Total Developing Countries846,773
36Model Estimates of ML Flows from Developing Countries E Europe176963SE Europe129512C Asia/Transcaucasus15201E & SE Asia444536Near & Middle East/SW Asia12213Caribbean6452N & W Africa4178South Asia3465Central America2525E Africa3559Oceania209W & C Africa3278South America30361Southern Africa14321C & S America total $39.3 bn; Africa total $25.3 bn;Europe total $306.5bn; ME & Asia total $475.6bnGlobal total $846.8 bn