Every year, owners of illicit wealth send huge sums of money from the countries where they made it to jurisdictions where they can conceal its origins. They can do so because laws, practices and intermediaries in the receiving countries make money-laundering safe and easy. These arrangements abet criminality, corruption and insecurity on a global scale. There is a clear, compelling and urgent case for closing this major governance gap.
Transnational organized crime has long relied on the ability to launder its earnings. But the issue goes much wider. Those who enrich themselves through corrupt relationships and tax evasion routinely send the proceeds to safer jurisdictions. The scale of these outflows dwarfs international aid budgets designed to support good governance. The provision by receiving states of what are, in effect, corruption-protection services thus entrenches misgovernance.
Corrupt financial inflows also present a serious security threat by eroding financial integrity and international reputation. But this