Serbia Tops Balkans For Illicit Financial Flows

The organisation Global Financial Integrity has ranked Serbia worst of all Balkan countries when it comes to illegal financial flows.About 5 billion dollars worth of money has “disappeared” every year in Serbia from 2001 to 2010 through illegal financial flows, the research and advocacy organisation Global Financial Integrity says.

It ranked Serbia 16th out of 143 countries when it comes to illicit financial flows – the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.

Data were obtained by comparing different import and export data for each country, which then either showed that companies reported exporting and earning less than they actually did, or that they had imported more and paid more than they did in reality.

GFI also followed the money trail of illegally obtained funds that were later transferred out of the country.

Economist Dragovan Milicevic said the size of illegal financial flows in Serbia was probably even larger than the data indicate.

“GFI reports follow only money that goes through bank accounts; they don’t estimate how much money was sent out of the country in cash,” Milicevic wrote for the website makroekonomija.org.

While Serbia was highest ranked the worst Balkan country, Bulgaria was placed 38th on the list, Croatia was 39th, Montenegro 50th, Romania 55th, Bosnia 57th, Macedonia 76th, while Albania was 106th.

According to GFI, about 1.5 billion dollars goes out of Bulgaria and Croatia a year in illicit financial flows, and about 1 billion dollars goes out Montenegro.

The amount of the money that illictly leaves Romania is set at about 880 million dollars, while the figure for Bosnia is about 830 million, 460 million for Macedonia and about 136 million for Albania.

The report showed that 143 developing countries lost 5.86 trillion dollars in illicit financial flows in ten years, from 2001 to 2010.

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