By Tufail Ahmed Khan
The history of financial crime is as old as the inception of the currency itself. Over time, as transactional ecosystems evolved, the channels for illicitly siphoning funds advanced as well.
Of the range of financial crimes that exist today, money laundering alone costs more than $2 trillion in damages globally. To put this into perspective, the amount translates to 3% to 5% of the worldwide GDP.
Financial crime ranges from basic theft or fraud committed by ill-intentioned individuals to large-scale operations masterminded by organized criminals and syndicates with a foot on every continent.
These are serious criminal activities whose importance should not be underestimated, as over and beyond their social and economic impact, they are often closely linked to violent crime and even terrorism.
Recent findings published by the World Economic Forum revealed that $2.4 trillion originating from activities such as forced prostitution, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and terrorism are laundered through global banking systems and financial markets.
Similarly, between $7 and $23 billion a year from wildlife trafficking is moved across the world through existing channels. These sums are often used to fund other, sometimes more heinous crimes, as well.
In modern times, as financial systems have become extensively digitized, cybercrime has become one of the leading causes of financial losses to individuals, organizations, and governments around the world.
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