Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have ranked among the top 10 countries with the highest illicit financial outflows between 2001 to 2010, with Qatar not far behind at number 15, a new report has found.
Some $400 billion worth of wealth from crime, corruption, tax evasion and other illicit activities flowed out of GCC nations over a decade, the Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2001-2010 states.
Conducted by US-based Global Financial Integrity, the study does not include illicit financial flows derived from drug trafficking, human smuggling and other primarily cash-based criminal activities.
China topped the rankings, losing an average of $274 billion a year to dirty money transactions. Saudi Arabia ranked fourth, with an annual average of $21 billion lost; the UAE 10th, at $10.7 billion; and Qatar 15th, at $5.6 billion.
Arabian Business reports:
“Astronomical sums of dirty money continue to flow out of the developing world and into offshore tax havens and developed country banks,” said GFI Director Raymond Baker.
“Regardless of the methodology, it’s clear: developing economies are haemorrhaging more and more money at a time when rich and poor nations alike are struggling to spur economic growth. This report should be a wake-up call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflows.”
Under the microscope
Meanwhile, the Qatar Financial Information Unit is reporting an increase in domestic and international scrutiny of suspicious transactions taking place here.
The QFIU, whose mission is to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in Qatar, as well as receiving, requesting and sharing information concerning suspected cases of such crimes, said queries were up 54 percent last year, the Peninsula reports.
But the number of actual suspicious transactions fell slightly, from 227 in 2010 to 210 last year. The newspaper continues:
However, compared to the past four years, the 2011 figures are really high. The total number of inquiries regarding the suspicious transactions in 2009 was 96. In 2008, the QFIU received 74 STRs and the 2007 number was 147.
Credit: Photo by Tax Credits