TBML and FTZs allowing IFFs to proliferate across Latin America

Trade-based money laundering (TBML) and free-trade zones (FTZs) are amongst the mechanisms that allow for illicit financial flows (IFFs) to proliferate across Latin America the UK government has said in a recently issued tender.

It calls for a study into the various channels used in Latin America to channel IFFs internationally – whether incoming or outgoing – including trade, banking positions, foreign direct investment and portfolio investment.


Sectoral analysis is called for in a report to demonstrate where and how IFFs are generated within focus countries – Colombia, Peru, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic – according to the tender.

It says the report should nonetheless concentrate on cross-border flows and improve understanding of the international dynamics and mechanisms, including TBML and FTZs, that allow for IFFs to proliferate across the region.

IFF matrix

To better understand the vulnerabilities of the focus countries to IFFs and relevant importance of those flows, the UK-funded Combatting Illicit Economies Programme (CIEP) is seeking an implementing partner able to analyse such vulnerabilities and prioritise them in a matrix with four variables.

The variables are the channels used for IFFs, volumes of those flows, counterpart countries where those flows originate or are destined, and sectors generating those flows.

Vulnerability rankings

Final analysis should provide a vulnerability ranking for each of the four variables and demonstrate how these rankings have evolved over the last 10 years.

A list of actionable recommendations for tackling the identified vulnerabilities should also be produced.

The UK government’s call for proposals issued through the British embassy in Panama to produce this study can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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