Global Financial Integrity

 

Trade Misinvoicing

Need funds for the SDGs? Tackle trade fraud

As scores of government representatives gather at the UN this morning for 10 days of high-level discussions on the current progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the elephant in the room is how developing and emerging...

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GFI: Indonesia lost US$6.5 billion to Trade Misinvoicing in 2016; Revenue needed for SDGs

By Ben Iorio On June 23rd, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) published a comprehensive study estimating the amount of revenue losses Indonesia incurred as a result of trade misinvoicing in 2016. By analyzing data published on the United...

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GFI: India Lost Approximately US$13.0 Billion to Trade Misinvoicing in 2016

Global Financial Integrity estimates India lost US$13.0 billion in potential revenue to trade misinvoicing in 2016 alone. How did we get that estimate? This blog breaks down the findings and methodology of our latest report.

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GFI Database Helps Countries Boost Domestic Resource Mobilization

Today, GFI is pleased to announce the launch of GFTrade, a proprietary trade risk assessment application that enables customs officials to determine if goods are priced outside typical ranges for comparable products. A cloud-based system developed over the past year, GFTrade provides officials with real-time price analyses for goods in the port using price ranges for the same product based on global trade information. This information can help to determine if further investigation into potential misinvoicing is warranted, and it has the potential to substantially increase domestic revenue mobilization.

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Magnitudes versus Methodologies?

Global Financial Integrity is pleased to note growing interest in the estimation of illicit financial flows and their effect on emerging market and developing countries. We are writing to offer a series of thoughts surrounding the reality of this concern and its political significance.

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Illicit Flows and Funding the SDG’s

In adopting the Sustainable Development Goals this past September, UN member states realized two extraordinary achievements. First, the document itself—with 17 goals, 169 targets and 200+ (yet to be finalized) indicators—is a testament to global ambition, a 15-year roadmap toward what is hoped will be unprecedented progress in poverty alleviation. Second, the global community agreed to “substantially reduce illicit financial flows,” which reached $1.1 trillion two years earlier according to a recent GFI study.

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White & Case Highlights Increased U.S. Scrutiny of Trade Misinvoicing

Law Firm Focuses Attention on Practice Illicitly Draining Over US$700 Billion per Year from Developing and Emerging Economies

While much of GFI’s focus is on improving the capacities of customs departments, it is unfortunately rare for us to find American law firms writing articles on customs issues applicable to our work. Attorneys at the global law firm of White & Case have recently published one worth reading, however.

The authors are noting the increase of U.S. enforcement in the customs area, and most of the cases cited involve trade misinvoicing/fraud, a practice which accounts for about 80 percent of GFI’s illicit financial flows estimates—illegally draining US$730 billion from developing and emerging economies in 2012.

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Illicit Flows in the Poorest of Places

Illicit Financial Flows Have a Devastating Impact on the Poorest Countries in the World

What do you do when “the big number,” used to estimate the global volume of illicit financial flows (IFFs), begins to lose its luster?

Over the past year or so, GFI has begun to hear—in various venues and by various people—the warning to audiences that they shouldn’t “focus on the big number.” A trillion dollars is a global number, these observers say, and can’t be used to assess the impact at the country level. Or, they contend, the trillion dollars in IFFs is from a cluster of emerging market countries and therefore is skewed to make it look as though all developing countries have huge problems when really only a few do. GFI decided to go back to the data to see if the criticisms were accurate.

As a result, this week we are publishing “Illicit Financial Flows and Development Indices: 2008–2012,” a study that looks at illicit flows from the poorest countries to determine the development impact in those places that do not appear on the top-10 list of IFF-source nations by gross volume. Rather than focus on the Chinas and Russias and Mexicos of the world, we examined IFFs in nations that appear, for example, on the Least Developed Countries list or the Highly Indebted Poor Countries list—82 countries in all were examined. What we found was simply alarming.

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