Major Money Laundering Countries

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What is The BSA AML Index?

In recent years, money laundering has been rapidly growing. So the amount of dirty money. Governments and financial institutions try to protect themselves from this crime.

Read on to learn about the Basel 2021 Index and the Country's risk scores.

Basel Institute of Governance is an independent, international, non-profit organization committed to preventing Corruptionuption and other financial crimes. The organization was established in Basel, Switzerland.

Each year, Basel prepares an independent score and ranking that assesses the world's risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. This ranking is the Basel AML Index. This year (2020) published the ninth raid. Published by the Basel Institute of Governance since 2012, this document gives risk scores based on data from 15 publicly available sources such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. FATF country's risk scores cover five areas:

  • Quality of AML / CFT framework
  • BriberCorruptionuption
  • Financial transparency and standards
  • Public transparency and accountability
  • Legal and Political Risks

The primary objective is not to rank countries superficially compared to each other but to give an overall view of different countries 'and regions' risk levels and their progress in addressing vulnerabilities over time. 

Scores and Ranking

Top-10-Countries-According-Basel"

Top-10-Countries-According-Basel"

Regional Focus

The Basel AML Index follows the World Bank classification of countries, with an additional separation of Europe and Central Asia into two regions:

  • European Union and Western Europe
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • East Asia and Pacific
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • North America
  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

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1. European Union and Western Europe

The region has a lower risk than the global average. However, the weakest area of the region is the quality of AML/CFT systems.

  • The overall risk score is 4.02
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 4.58
  • Bribery and corruption 2.95
  • Financial transparency and standards 3.49
  • Public transparency and accountability 2.48
  • Legal and political risk 2.69


JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Andorra 
 2.73
Finland
3.06
Slovenia
3.30
Norway 
3.35
Sweden 
3.36
San Marino 
3.42
Denmark 
3.46
Lithuania 
3.51
Spain 
3.59
Greece 
3.67
Portugal
3.85
Belgium
3.94
United Kingdom 
4.05
Iceland 
4.16
Czech Republic 
4.28
Slovakia 
4.37
Austria 
4.42
Ireland 
4.45
Italy 
4.57
Latvia 
4.61
Switzerland 
4.89
Cyprus 
4.95
Hungary 
5.04
Malta 
5.45
 

Belgium, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK are listed by the US as major money laundering destinations.  

About half of the jurisdictions with human trafficking (Cyprus, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland), bribery/corruption (Hungary), and public transparency (Hungary, Finland) have increased their risk scores since 2020.

Check Out our website to discover more insights

Money Laundering Awareness of Europe's Major Economies

Europe, which has many wealthy countries, has become a favorite of money laundering criminals, especially with the development of technology in recent years. 


2.Europe and Central Asia

Although the region has shown an overall outlook since 2020, it has slightly higher ML/TF exposures than the global average.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3.18
  • Legal and political risk 4.15
JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Armenia 
4.63
Georgia 
4.82
Moldova 
4.98
Belarus 
5.04
Ukraine 
5.21
Serbia 
5.47
Russia 
5.49
Turkey 
5.70
Albania 
5.72
Tajikistan 
5.97
Kyrgyzstan 

6.09


Its weakest area is corruption and bribery. Out of 11 jurisdictions, 8, excluding Moldova, Belarus, and Serbia, are listed by the United States as major money laundering destinations.

3.East Asia and Pacific

The East Asia and Pacific region risk scores are slightly higher than the global average. The region has risks related to Corruption/bribery, human trafficking, public and financial transparency, and political/legal systems and has significant overall risk scores.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3,86
  • Legal and political risk 4,15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Cook Islands 
3.13
New Zealand 
3.53
Australia
3.75
Taiwan 
4.39
South Korea 
4.63
Singapore 
4.65
Indonesia 
4.68
Japan 
4.99
Hong Kong, China 
5.20
Samoa 
5.32
Vanuatu 
5.33
Malaysia
5.47
Fiji
5.56
Philippines 
5.76
Macau, China 
5.93
Mongolia 
6.09
Palau 
6.17
Thailand 
6.15
Palau 
6.17
China 
6.70
Solomon Islands 
6.74
Cambodia 
7.13
Myanmar 
7.83
 

The weakest area is the quality of AML/CFT frameworks. New Zealand retains the top place as the lowest risk country, despite an increased risk score following a new FATF evaluation. There are high trafficking risks in China, Malaysia, and Myanmar.  

4.Latin America and the Caribbean

Some risk scores are higher than average, with the weakest area being the state of AML frameworks. The Bahamas are valued for their high-risk scores in Panama and the Cayman Islands.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3.86
  • Legal and political risk 4.15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Uruguay 
3.98
Peru
4.50
Colombia 
4.64
Dominican Republic 
4.72
Costa Rica 
4.74
Trinidad and Tobago 
4.85
Antigua and Barbuda 
4.95
Mexico 
5.09
Guatemala 
5.12
Saint Lucia 
5.21
Turks and Caicos Islands
5.35
Honduras
5.52
Cuba 
5.75
Jamaica 
5.77
Barbados 
5.82
Panama 
6.00
Bahamas 
6.46
Nicaragua 
6.75
Cayman Islands 
7.66
Haiti 
8.49
 

90% of the assessed territories are listed as “money laundering jurisdictions” by the US. There are significant differences across the region, indicating different institutional capacities to mitigate risks.

5.The Middle East and North Africa

There are significant differences in the risk levels of the regions, and the main weaknesses are related to public transparency and accountability and legal/political risks.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 4.12
  • Legal and political risk 4.15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Israel 
3.83
Bahrain
4.50
Saudi Arabia 
5.12
Egypt 
5.19
Tunisia 
5.20
Morocco 
5.32
Jordan 
5.60
United Arab Emirates 
5.91
 

As fast-growing financial centers, Saudi Arabia and the UAE should allocate additional AML/CFT resources commensurate with the risks.

6.North America

With only three jurisdictions, the country scores above the global average. The USA lists Canada and the USA as major money laundering jurisdictions.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3.86
  • Legal and political risk 4.15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
United States 
4.60
Canada
4.67
Bermuda 
4.75


Recent regulatory and legal reforms in both jurisdictions regarding beneficial ownership and whistleblower protections can help strengthen the quality of AML/CFT frameworks, which is the region's main weakness.

7.South Asia

The most considerable lack is the quality of the AML/CFT frameworks. At the same time, the region suffers from very high levels of corruption and bribery and low levels of financial transparency.

  • The overall risk score is 5.3
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery Corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3.86
  • Legal and political risk 4.15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Bangladesh 
5.84
Pakistan
6.00
Bhutan
6.24
Sri Lanka 
6.51
 

Inconsistent application of AML/CFT laws and low levels of effectiveness across jurisdictions assessed is a major concern; Significant resources and capacity building are required.

8.Sub-Saharan Africa

While the quality of AML/CFT frameworks is a particular concern in Sub-Saharan Africa,  it has the highest overall risk score of all regions. Most assessed jurisdictions face increased risks of bribery/corruption and financial transparency/standards.

  • The overall risk score is 5.03
  • The quality of the AML / CFT framework is 5.76
  • Bribery and corruption 4.70
  • Financial transparency and standards 4.72
  • Public transparency and accountability 3.86
  • Legal and political risk 4.15

JURISDICTION
OVERALL SCORE
Botswana 
4.87
Ghana
4.88
Seychelles
5.29
Mauritius 
5.32
Malawi 
 5.78
Zambia 
6.03
Tanzania 
6.22
Cape Verde 
6.49
Burkina Faso 
6.77
Ethiopia 
6.77
Zimbabwe
6.79
Uganda
7.18
Senegal 
4.05
Mali 
7.37
Mauritania 
7.37
Madagascar 
7.40
Mozambique 
7.71
The Democratic Republic Of The Congo 
8.35


The wide distribution of scores across the region may be due to several emerging economies with high levels of corruption and political/economic instability.

The weakest area is the quality of the AML/CFT framework. Half of the countries are listed as significant money laundering destinations. The region suffers from a lack of data on AML/CFT and related risks. In this region, some of the countries include FATF high-risk countries. 

What Is Wrong, And What Can Be Done To Improve Supervision Generally?

Supervision is very much at the intersection between regulation and implementation, for example, technical compliance with AML/CFT standards and their enforcement. Looking at data from recent FATF reports, we see that while countries generally have low or mediocre scores for technical compliance, the most problematic issue is the effectiveness of their measures.

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