According to previous estimates by security agencies and the financial industry, between $1.5 Trillion to $2.5 Trillion is laundered around the world each year.
In order to combat terrorist financing, drug trafficking profits and tax evasion, countries have implements various financial regulations and created inter-governmental bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force. In order to comply with the anti-laundering regulations, financial firms and banks in the United States spend an estimated $7 Billion per year in compliance measures.
The results from these measures leads to a 0.2 percent seizure rate of laundered money in the United States.
One reason given for the difficulty of seizing illicit funds is due to the small amounts needed to create terrorism. According to Bloomberg, the September 11 attacks cost less than $500,000 to plan and implement. The Al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid and London cost $100,000 to carry out.
(See more money laundering statistics.)
Source: Charles Kenny, “Why the World Is So Bad at Tracking Dirty Money,” Bloomberg Business, February 23, 2015.
An investigation by the New York Times found that Al Queada and its affiliates have taken at least $125 million in revenue from kidnapping for ransom since 2008. Roughly half, or $66 Million, was paid out in 2013.
The United States Treasury put the total at $165 million for the same period.
Since 2008, the following countries have paid Al Qaeda the following amounts (given in 2014 US dollars) for releasing kidnapped citizens:
- France: $58.1 Million
- Qatar and Oman: $20.4 Million
- Switzerland: $12.4 Million
- Spain: $11 Million
- Austria: $3.2 Million
- Undetermined Countries: $21.4 Million
Analysis conducted by the NY Times found that 15 percent of hostages that have been taken by Al Qaeda between 2008 and 2014 were executed or died in captivity.
Source: Rukmini Callimachi, “Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror,” New York Times, July 29, 2014
According to a report by the United Nations, an estimated $6.6 Million was made in 2010 by human smugglers bringing in illegal migrants to the United States.
The revenue was generated by migrants paying anywhere between $150 to $100,000. The fees charged by the smugglers was dependent on the immigrants country of origin. Charges covered everything needed for the journey, such as hotel stays, bribes and taxes paid to the drug cartels.
The United States Border Control apprehended 57,000 unaccompanied minors trying to illegaly enter the United States between October 2013 and June 2014.
(More human smuggling statistics.)
Source: Associated Press, “Migration Spotlights Mexican ‘Coyote’ Smugglers,” ABC News, July 21, 2014
According to a study by the Small Arms Survey, there are an estimated 10 million firearms and guns circulating in the hands of civilians in Thailand.
The price of buy a gun in Thailand costs about $2,600 on the black market, according to previous reports.
(More prices of AK-47s and other guns on the black market.)
Source: Charlie Campbell, “If There’s Going to Be a Thai Civil War, Isaan Will Be Its Front Line,” Time, July 2, 2014.
The agency responsible for anti-money laundering campaigns in Singapore reported an increase in cases during 2013.
According to the Commercial Affairs Department, the agency received 22,417 suspicious transaction reports during the 2013 year, and increase of 25 percent from the previous year. In 341 instances, the agency provided intelligence to foreign agencies, up from the 160 cases of intelligence sharing that took place in 2012.
In total, security officials in Singapore seized over $92 Million (115 Million Singaporean Dollars) in suspected criminal proceeds.
According to a spokesman for the agency, more transnational organized crime groups are using the country’s financial industry in order to move their illicit funds.
(Examples of money laundering.)
Source: Andrea Tan, “Singapore Says More Overseas Criminals Seek Bank Accounts,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 2, 2014.
Security forces in Cambodia arrested two Cambodia men for organizing a kidney selling ring in Thailand. The men ran an organ trafficking ring that sent 5 people to hospitals in Thailand with fake documents in order to have their kidneys removed.
According to police officials, the men sold the kidney’s for $10,000 (325,000 Thai Baht). To the human sellers who sold their kidneys, the men paid them between $3,000 to $5,000.
(See how much kidneys sell for in the organ trafficking market.)
A man in Monaco paid a pair of hitmen over $330,000 (€250,000) in cash and gifts to kill his mother-in-law.
Wojciech Janowski previously serviced as Poland’s honorary counsel in Monaco and was married to the daughter of a heiress. In an attempt to gain access to the wealth of the mother-in-law, Janowski paid $272,000 (€200,000) in cash and an additional $67,000 (€50,000) in gifts.
Security officials do not believe that the wife of Janowski and the daughter of the victim had anything to do with the contract killing.
Source: AFP, “Son-in-law charged with contract killing of Monaco heiress,” Channel NewsAsia, June 28, 2014.
Government officials in the Netherlands reported that the legalized trade of drugs and prostitution in Amsterdam and across the country contributes $3.4 Billion (€2.5 Billion) to the national economy. The two industries contribute to 0.4 percent of the Netherlands GDP.
Statistics Netherlands stated that most of the consumption of the services is domestic and takes place in the marijuana coffee shops and brothels.
(Sex trade revenue around the world.)
A man from Myanmar told a reporter from the Associated Press that he was sold by a human trafficking broker to a Thailand fishing boat for $616. The man originally thought that he was going to work on the boat for 6 months, yet ended up working for over a year. During the time, the Burmese man stated that he slept for 3 hours a night.
The seafood industry in Thailand employees 2 million people and is constantly facing a labor shortage. Many Thais do not want to work on the fishing boats where the wages are low, the job is dangerous, and many boats are at sea for months and even years. To meet this shortage, an estimated 200,000 migrants from Cambodia and Myanmar are working on the boats. A 2013 survey of 600 workers conducted by the United Nations found that almost none had signed a labor contract and about 40 percent had their wages cut without explanation.
Nearly 6 out of 10 migrant workers on Thai fishing boats reported seeing a co-worker killed by the captain, according to a 2009 UN report. The man who was sold by traffickers told the AP that after a sick man died on the boat the captain simply tossed the body overboard.
The fishing industry in Thailand exported nearly $7 Billion worth of seafood in 2013. Most of the seafood was exported to Japan and the United States.
Source: Associated Press, “Thailand’s Rampant Trafficking May Carry Price,” ABC News, June 13, 2014.
A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and computer security company McAfee reported that up to$445 Billion a year is being lost globally to cybercrime activities.
Online crime, hacking and the theft of intellectual property could cause up to 200,000 jobs being lost in the United States and up to 150,000 jobs in Europe.
A reported 50 million people in the United States had their personal identification stolen within the past year.
Source: Chris Strohm, “Cybercrime Remains Growth Industry With $445 Billion Lost,” Bloomberg, June 9, 2014