New Study Shows Kenya Trade Misinvoicing Leads to Significant Revenue Losses Misinvoicing of Imports and Exports Approaches 1/4 of all Trade Transactions WASHINGTON, DC – Analysis of trade misinvoicing in Kenya in 2013 shows that the potential loss...
By Grace Zhao, July 14, 2014
Don’t get too excited about Kenya’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) gray list.
The FATF list of “high risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions” is a list of countries that the organization believes to be doing very little in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The list is based off a series of 40 recommendations that it expects countries to abide by to reduce money laundering and terrorist financing. These recommendations include, among other things, the regulation of banks and other financial institutions. Countries that do not adequately address these expectations are placed on the black or gray list based on varying degrees of compliance.
In 2010, FATF placed Kenya on a list of high risk countries for delays in enacting laws to tackle criminal financial activity as well as a failure to track money laundering.
By E.J. Fagan, May 21, 2014
On Friday, Global Financial Integrity hosted professors Michael Findley and Daniel Nielson to talk about their new book, Global Shell Games, Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime, and Terrorism.
The book follows their ground-breaking paper, Global Shell Games: Testing Money Launderers’ and Terrorist Financiers’ Access to Shell Companies, which was published in 2012. The authors approached nearly 4,000 services in over 180 countries in a random assignment experience designed to measure how difficult it was to convince a corporate service provider or law firm to create a shell company without proper identification.
Political scientists Mike Findley and Daniel Nielson discuss the findings of their new book: Global Shell Games: Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime, and Terrorism, and the issue of anonymous shell companies. They are joined by Global Financial Integrity’s Heather Lowe, who moderates the event, as well as by Tax Justice Network-USA’s Jack Blum.
Photos from the launch events for our May 2014 report, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Trade Misinvoicing and the Impact of Revenue Loss in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda: 2002-2011,” which was funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These photos were taken from the launch events in Copenhagen, Denmark, and in Accra, Ghana.
While the precise magnitude and consequences of illicit financial flows in African countries — and throughout the developing world — deserve further analysis, it is clear that such flows are wreaking havoc on the continent. Any sustainable approach to global development has to curtail illicit flows and the mechanisms facilitating them. Only then will we be able to mobilize domestic resources for long-term development.
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%)
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 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.
Kenya lost over $700 million in taxes in 2012 due to smuggling. But despite popular belief, the main problem with smuggling isn’t corruption. It’s tax havens, phantom firms and secrecy.
At the end of January, the Kenya Sugar Board, acting on a tip off, seized and impounded over 1,800 bags of illegally imported sugar. Arrests were made and the board vowed to begin a country-wide crackdown on other cartels who smuggle tons of sugar into the country each year.