June 8, 2011
-- Money laundering is a massive global problem. It allows criminals to infuse billions of dollars of black money into the stream of commerce and business, corrupting financial institutions and officials. However, the precise scale of money laundering is much disputed.
In 1996, the IMF came up with the vague estimation that 2-5 % of the global economy involved laundered money. But, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body set up to combat money laundering, said: “Overall, it is absolutely impossible to produce a reliable estimate of the amount of money laundered.”
The estimate most often bandied around in the media is $1.5 trillion a year, but Dr Dionysios Demetis, the author of the book Technology and Anti-Money Laundering, disputes the figure.
“The broader system of money laundering operations exhibits such a degree of complexity that it is impossible to determine the amount being laundered. The most commonly cited figure of $1.5 trillion is for media consumption alone,” he said.
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