According to officials, money was found through more than 20,000 reports of suspicious activity that were reported by the South American nation’s financial crimes branch for more than three years.
Over the past three and a half years, Colombia has discovered over $20 billion in bank operations that may have been involved in money laundering.
According to officials, the monies were discovered through the Financial Information and Analysis Unit’s (UIAF) annual review of more than 20,000 suspicious activity alerts.
According to UIAF director Javier Gutierrez, “in the last few years, we’ve hit the accelerator and the learning curve in terms of interception of illegal cash.”
According to him, the $20 billion was discovered between 2019 and mid-2022.
More than 6% of Colombia’s annual gross domestic product is represented by the amount.
According to Gutierrez, the UIAF has discovered 570 different ways that money might be laundered, including exports, currency trading, fraudulent or inflated invoices, and crypto-currencies.
Money laundering-related offenses
The criminal code of Colombia lists 66 offenses related to money laundering, including people smuggling, customs fraud, and trafficking of drugs and weapons.
When money obtained from unlawful operations like drug trafficking is invested in front of companies that incorporate illegal money into the legal financial system, money laundering takes place.
The Andean nation is a major producer of cocaine and is home to rebel organizations and criminal gangs that engage in illicit mining, drug trafficking, and other crimes.
According to Gutierrez, preventing money laundering may be more beneficial than making arrests in reducing crime.
According to Gutierrez, “Criminals don’t care much about being discovered; they care much more about being caught, but what bothers them most is the possibility that their resources would be taken away.” The ability to bounce back is considerably more difficult for them if you economically ruin them.