Terrorists and criminals at the forefront of trade-based financial crime

The director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Centre at George Mason University in the US, has said that many criminals use trade-based money laundering and would therefore not be deterred by a dramatic reduction in the use of cash.

Dr Louise Shelley was responding to a proposal by Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff that all denominations of the US dollar larger than a US$10 bill should be phased out to thwart money launderers and tax evaders.

At the forefront

CNSNews.com asked Shelley in an interview if eliminating most cash would stop terrorist groups and other criminals from laundering money.

“You have to be kidding,” she replied. “They are at the forefront of inventing new methods and refining old methods of trade-based money laundering. Illicit trade has exploded with the Internet,” she added.

Professional support

Earlier this year, Shelley testified before Congress that illicit trade accounts for some 8-15 per cent of the global economy and “is growing in almost all identified categories,” and providing funding for terrorist groups and drug cartels.

“But this illicit trade does not exist in a vacuum. It is supported by banks, it is supported by law firms, it is supported by professional services that write contracts, that develop contracts, and help mask the illicit trade,” she added.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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