GFI Welcomes David Cameron’s Letter to UK Overseas Territories Calling for Corporate Transparency

financialnews350_52cfae1652285Follows Prime Minister’s Move to Create Public Registry of Beneficial Ownership for All UK Companies

Pressure Continues to Rise on U.S. Government to Follow Suit

April 25, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) lauded UK Prime Minister David Cameron today for urging all British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in a letter today to crack down on the abuse of anonymous shell companies by creating public registries of meaningful beneficial ownership information.  The letter follows recent moves by the UK Government, which is currently in the process of creating the world’s first such public registry to do the same.

“Prime Minister Cameron continues to show strong leadership on this issue,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a longtime authority on financial crime.  “Anonymous shell companies are the number one tool for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.  Creating public registries of the true, human, ‘beneficial’ owners of each company—as the British government is in the process of doing—is a common sense approach to curbing financial crime and the tremendous flow of illegal money worldwide.”

The Economist Highlights the Scourge of Trade Misinvoicing

Trade Misinvoicing Drained US$763.4bn from Poor Countries in 2011, according to GFI Research

Influential News Weekly Features GFI’s Research & Experts in Latest Issue

May 1, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222

WASHINGTON, DC – The latest issue of The Economist profiles the problem of trade-based money laundering, which drains hundreds of billions of dollars from developing economies each year, according to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization.  The prestigious financial news magazine cites heavily from GFI’s research and experts, while warning that efforts to tackle trade misinvoicing are “the weakest link” in the international effort to fight illicit financial flows.

“The misinvoicing of trade transactions is the most widely used method for transferring dirty money across international borders,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a longtime authority on financial crime.  “Illegally siphoning at least US$763bn from developing countries in 2011, trade misinvoicing—a prevalent form of trade-based money laundering—accounts for nearly 80 percent of all illicit financial outflows that can be measured using available data.”

African Countries Lose Billions through Misinvoiced Trade

 Fraudulent Trade Transactions Channeled at Least US$60.8 Billion Illegally in or out of 5 African Countries from 2002-2011

Tax Loss from Trade Misinvoicing Potentially at 12.7% of Uganda’s Total Government Revenue, followed by Ghana (11.0%), Mozambique (10.4%), Kenya (8.3%), & Tanzania (7.4%)

May 12, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222

COPENHAGEN, Denmark / WASHINGTON, DC – The fraudulent misinvoicing of trade is hampering economic growth and potentially resulting in billions of U.S. dollars in lost tax revenue in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda, according to a new report  to be published Monday by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advocacy organization.  The study—funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark—finds that the over- and under-invoicing of trade transactions facilitated at least US$60.8 billion in illicit financial flows into or out of the five African countries between 2002 and 2011.

“It is deeply disconcerting that illicit financial flows are taking such a serious toll on the economies of Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda,” noted Mogens Jensen, Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation.  “Denmark has for several years supported Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda in fighting poverty and promoting economic growth and job creation. These efforts are clearly at risk of being undermined by fraudulent trade transactions which rob the people of these countries of funds that could otherwise have been used for investments in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and other much needed public services. I hope that the study can help the governments in their efforts to curb illicit financial flows.”