Each year 16 billion euros laundered in the Netherlands
THE HAGUE – According to researchers, about 16 billion euros are laundered every year. The money would be 90 percent of drug trafficking and fraud.
The researchers at Utrecht University (UU) warned on Monday in the Dutch newspaper Trouw that fraud is increasing and that the lower and upper world are becoming intertwined. The research was commissioned by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC).
An estimate of the total amount was made by combining figures on the scale of crime and money laundering which flows between countries with other data.
In fact, the amount of 16 billion euros for 2014 applies, because only up to and including that year crime figures are known. However, little has changed, the researchers think.
Money laundering flows between countries were also examined. For example, 9.1 billion euros of the total would come from abroad.
Money laundering, the issue of criminally earned money in the upper world, undermines the economy according to the project leader of the research. “Corruption is rising. You get a different way of living together because the lower and upper world becomes intertwined,” says Professor Brigitte Unger.
According to researchers, this entanglement can be seen, for example, in the way in which financial advisors are employed. So it would be easy to find people who want to cooperate with financial constructions that are actually dubious.
The last time an assessment of money laundering was made was in 2004. Then it came to 18.5 billion euros. On the basis of all the figures that are now known, a lower estimate of 13 billion euros will also apply in 2004.
The researchers emphasize that in both cases it is an estimate with a margin of error, and therefore that it is not exactly clear whether there is an increase or decrease.
“The number has remained the same in the past ten years, roughly 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product,” Unger adds.