Around 25 percent of all alcohol consumed in Europe is estimated to have been sold on the informal market. This includes alcohol sold on the black market without the payment of taxes, counterfeit alcohol, and home-brewed alcohol.
Source: Marjana Martinic, “Europe’s accidental promotion of black-market alcohol,” EurActiv, May 17, 2013.
Swiss banking officials filed 1,585 suspicious activity reports in 2012 to federal authorities. The suspicious transactions involved $3.3 Billion (3.15 Billion Swiss Francs). 6 of the cases involved almost half of the money that was flagged.
Between 2010 to 2012, the number of reports flagged by the Swiss banking industry increased by almost 50 percent when compared to previous years.
Since 2003, there have been 8,251 cases of suspicious financial transactions that have been forwarded to prosecutors. Out of this total, over 40 percent are still pending and over half were either dismissed or was suspended. 4.5 percent of the cases have reached conclusion with verdicts.
Source: Associated Press, “Swiss: 1,500 money-laundering cases last year,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 14, 2013.
There are around 12,000 shell companies that are registered in Cyprus. These companies are in paperwork only and have no physical presence in the country.
In a classified report conducted by accounting firm Deloitte in March -April 2013, the firm found that the number of suspicious financial transactions was 30 times the number that officials in Cyprus reported.
Source: Andrew Rettman, “Cyprus gets €2bn despite money laundering concerns,” EUObserver, May 14, 2013.
Between 2005 and 2010, Canadian prosecutors filed 936 charges of money laundering to individuals in the country. Out of those charges, prosecutors obtained convictions in 134 cases, a conviction rate of 14 percent.
Financial intelligence officials say that many charges of money laundering are dropped in exchange for guilty pleas for other charges, such as drug trafficking.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimates that between $5 Billion to $15.2 Billion is laundered in Canada each year.
Source: Linda Gyulai, “Attention turns to assets after mass arrests,” Montreal Gazette, May 10, 2013.
Law enforcement officials in New York City stated that a single cigarette that is sold within jails on Rikers Island costs $30. The price to purchase the entire pack of 20 cigarettes costs $200.
In the streets of NYC, a single cigarette is sold on the black market for $0.50, and a pack of cigarettes is sold in retail stores for $15.
According to the Bronx District Attorney, between January 2012 to April 2013 there have been 85 arrests of tobacco smugglers attempting to bring in contraband cigarettes into city jails. In the first four months of 2013, police have arrested 20 people for cigarette smuggling.
Source: Reuven Blau, “Cigarette bans at city jails fuel $200-a-pack black market, surge in arrests,” New York Daily News, May 5, 2013.
In Northern Mali, a cigarette smuggler is paid $200 (100,000- CFA Francs) for a single trip transporting tobacco across the Sahara Desert. If the same smuggler is transporting cocaine, then the smuggler would be paid $2,000.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that up to 18 tonnes of cocaine is smuggled through West Africa on its way to Europe. The cocaine has a street value of $1.25 Billion.
(See the price of cocaine per gram worldwide.)
Source: Afua Hirsch, “Cocaine flows through Sahara as al-Qaida cashes in on lawlessness,” Guardian, May 2, 2013.
The Windor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce reported to Senators that up to $13.9 Billion (14 Billion Canadian) was being illegally gambled in Canada.
Source: “Gambling addicts, senators oppose single sports betting,” CBC News, April 30, 2013.
The United States Federal Government loses an estimated $150 Billion a year due to US taxpayers abusing international tax havens, according to a Senate investigation.
Source: Tom Cardamone, “There’s no good reason to allow secret tax havens,” Quartz, April 30, 2013.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency referred 291 cases of money laundering to the Anti-Money Laundering Council between 2003 to 2013. As a result of these investigations, $50.85 Million (270 Million Philippine Pesos) in drug trafficking assets were frozen during the span of 10 years.
Source: Xinhua, “Philippines steps up campaign against money launderers,” Phil Star, April 27, 2013.
According to a study by economist Edgar Feige, up to $2 Trillion was earned by workers in the United States in 2012 and not reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This figure is mostly from tens of millions of Americans who earned money as nannies, barbers, and web designers who got paid under the table.
The IRS estimated in 19992 that the Federal Government was losing $80 Billion a year to undeclared earnings. In 2006, the IRS estimate of lost tax revenue was $385 Billion.
In total, people in the United States hold as much as $750 Billion in cash.
Source: James Surowiecki, “The Underground Recovery,” New Yorker, April 29, 2013.