Panama papers : A closer look at  illegal money outflows during 2013-2014

Panama papers : A closer look at illegal money outflows during 2013-2014

Panama papers : A closer look at illegal money outflows during 2013-2014

Written by Staff Writer

10 Apr, 2016 | 7:49 pm

In light of the Panama Papers that revealed the involvement of three Sri Lankan corporates and 22 shareholders, attention has now been focussed on a report compiled by US-based Global Financial Integrity on ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries from 2004-2013.’

According to this report, Sri Lanka is ranked 53rd out of 149 countries, for illegal money outflows from the country up to 2013.

The report indicates that in the year 2004, Sri Lanka’s illegal money outflows stood at 1.4 billion USD and has increased to 1.7 billion USD in the 2013 on a year on year basis.

The highest outflow was recorded in the year 2011, two years after the war ended, and stood at a staggering 4.6 billion USD.

The cumulative figure during the ten- year time-frame stood at 19.96 billion USD which amounts to 2.88 trillion Sri Lankan rupees.

The report indicates that this includes money illegally earned through corruption, while some illegal transfers are not noted in the balance of payments because of wire transfers by banks and shady money changers.

In 2004, the president of the country was Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Mahinda Rajapaksa took over the mantle in 2005 and was the Head of State until early 2015. Incidentally, he served as the Prime Minister in 2004 as well.

Global Financial Integrity’s report recommends:

  • Governments should establish public registries of verified beneficial ownership information on all legal entities, and all banks should know the true beneficial owners of any account opened in their financial institution.
  • Government authorities should adopt and fully implement all of the Financial Action Task Force’s anti-money laundering recommendations; laws already in place should be strongly enforced.
  • Policymakers should require multinational companies to publicly disclose their revenues, profits, losses, sales, taxes paid, subsidiaries, and staff levels on a country-by-country basis.
  • All countries should actively participate in the worldwide movement towards the automatic exchange of tax information as endorsed by the OECD and the G20.
  • Customs agencies should treat trade transactions involving a tax haven with the highest level of scrutiny.

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