Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009

Added 19 Jan 2011

Developing countries lost $6.5 trillion in illicit financial outflows in the last decade

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) released its annual analysis of the cost of crime, corruption, and trade mispricing on developing countries today.  The report, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009,” finds that approximately $6.5 trillion was removed from the developing world from 2000 through 2008.  The report also examines illicit flows from Asia, which produced the largest portion of total outflows and makes projections for 2009.

The report ranks countries according to magnitude of outflows with China ranking 1 ($2.18 trillion), Russia 2 ($427 billion), Mexico 3 ($416 billion), Saudi Arabia 4 ($302 billion), and Malaysia 5 ($291 billion). The report also shows the annual outflows for each country and breaks outflows down into two categories of drivers: trade mispricing and “other,” which includes kickbacks, bribes, embezzlement, and other forms of official corruption.

“Every year developing countries are losing ten times the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) remitted for poverty alleviation and economic development,” said GFI director Raymond Baker.  “This report measures the quantity and pattern of these harmful outflows and provides stark proof of the impact of these illicit financial practices."

The report also looks at the impact of the global economic recession—on both magnitudes and trends in illicit outflows, it makes policy recommendations, and it projects outflows for 2009 (for which complete data is not yet available).

Visit for comprehensive report resources.