WASHINGTON, DC – As details surfaced today connecting the illicit outflow of assets from China in the suspicious death of British businessman Neil Heywood last November, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) highlighted China’s place as the largest victim of illicit financial outflows. The latest research from GFI estimates that the Asian nation suffered US$2.74 trillion in illicit financial outflows over the decade ending in 2009, more than quintupling the outflows from the next largest victim of illegal capital flight.
In a blog post published this evening on the website of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development, GFI Economist Sarah Freitas explains,
Global Financial Integrity research suggests that corruption on this scale does indeed occur in China. In December, our report, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries over the Decade Ending 2009, found that China by far led the world in illicit financial flows over that time period. Our conservative estimates found that a staggering US$2.74 trillion flowed out of China from 2000 to 2009 — five times the outflows of second-place Mexico.
If Gu Kailai did indeed move US$1.2 billion out of China into offshore financial centers, she would not be a unique case in China. Almost unimaginable sums of money are illegally leaving China every single day. The Heywood murder offers us just one small window into the shady world that corrupt Chinese officials access.
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Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfintegrity.org.