Restaurants, gas stations, airlines, malls, companies dedicated to cattle, agriculture, mining, tourism. Name
any other industry or business line, and
money can be laundered through it.
The reason: It is estimated that
the amount of money laundered
in a year is 3% to 5% of the gross
domestic product worldwide or,
in other words, $2 to $3 trillion US
dollars. And these numbers are
increasing daily. Do you see how
much money is generated? This is
why criminals have expanded to
So until now, you could think, “Well,
this is for companies. It impacts them only;
nothing to be worried about.”
Answer: No! You should care about money
laundering, because it can affect you, your
family, or your friends.
Effects of illicit commerce
Let me explain this with real cases,
starting with something that you and I
could think about as a “harmless” action:
China is the number one country known
for producing counterfeit products: Bags,
glasses, watches, CDs, DVDs, tennis shoes,
cars, medicine, among other things. Name
something and it can be forged. For this case,
we’ll choose two items: bags and medicines.1
Italy has one of the largest seaports in
Europe. It is estimated that almost 65% of
all containers come from China. In ports,
governments don’t have the infrastructure to
review more than 3% to 5% on average of all
incoming containers. Criminals know this, so
it’s easy for them to smuggle products or mix
counterfeit goods with the original. Those
bags are sent to Naples, Italy. There they’ll be
distributed to Nigerians. How?
As we all know, illegal immigration
is happening everywhere in the world. It
Why should you care about
money laundering in a
» Criminals are expanding to other industries and businesses by using either legitimate companies or front companies to
» Counterfeit goods are a cause of dirty money. A criminal copies every detail so well that even experts in the field can’t
notice the difference.
» Criminals can easily succeed because they can afford to pay whatever it takes to launder money or give a great discount.
» If not stopped, criminals can get into the political system of a country, resulting in a loss of control of economic policy.
» The money laundering risk is here for everyone.
by Mónica Ramírez Chimal, MBA
Mónica Ramírez Chimal ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is Partner and Founder of her
own consultant firm, Asserto RSC, in Mexico City.