While the Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations registered 32,008 suspected money laundering cases in 2015, by 2020 the number had risen to 144,005 – an increase of 350%. The number has almost doubled since 2018 alone, according to a new infographic from Block-Builders.
As the infographic shows, around 2% of cases are suspected to be related to terrorist funding or state security activities. Meanwhile, a global ranking of countries with the highest risk of money laundering and terrorist financing puts Afghanistan in an inglorious first place, followed by Haiti and Myanmar.
If one takes a look at the money laundering reports in Germany, large discrepancies can be seen between the different federal states. 33.6% of these reports concern actors from North Rhine-Westphalia, while 43% of all cases relating to Corona emergency aid fraud stem from North Rhine-Westphalia.
Reports involving crypto assets more than doubled in the Corona crisis year (2,050 suspicious activity reports) compared to 2019. Since Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous rather than anonymous, such activities can certainly be detected.
Meanwhile, real estate investments are proving especially popular with criminal actors. It is estimated that between 15% and 30% of all criminal assets are held in real estate. The scale of international financial flows makes it difficult for investigating bodies to uncover the offences, not least given their resources.