The world’s dirty money by the numbers
25 May 2020

Thanks for the effort, but you really need to do better.

Some EU countries are among the best in the world at implementing technical recommendations to combat money laundering, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to impressive results: In the bloc, only 1.1 percent of estimated illicit proceeds are seized by authorities. The rest remains in the hands of criminals.

The situation is no better elsewhere. Financial control leaders around the world admit the current framework for reporting suspicious activity is not effective enough: Up to 9 in 10 reports submitted to authorities have no immediate value to investigators.

Here’s a look at money laundering in figures and charts.


$4.5 trillion?

The potential total size of money laundering worldwide in 2020: The U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime estimates global money laundering to correspond to 2 to 5 percent of global GDP.


The percentage of the EU28’s GDP that was estimated to have been generated in illicit markets in 2010, according to research from the Transcrime Institute published in 2015.


The percentage of estimated criminal proceeds in the EU that is not confiscated and remains at the disposal of criminals, according to a Europol report from 2016.


The estimated amount of criminal profits finally confiscated at EU28 level annually, the 2016 Europol report said. This represents about 50 percent of all provisionally seized and frozen assets.


EU financial institutions and designated professions are obliged to report suspicious transactions to central authorities. Total reports across EU28 countries have been increasing steadily, but only 1 in 10 leads to an investigation.

By Arnau Busquets Guàrdia, Politico, 19 May 2020

Read more at Politico

RiskScreen: Eliminating Financial Crime with Smart Technology

Count this content towards your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD Wallet