Each year, millions of Euros of illicit financial flows (IFFs) circulate through the Western Balkans, despite significant government efforts to prevent this type of crime. The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI TOC) published the report Illicit financial flows in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. This report completes their study of illicit financial flows (IFFs) in the Western Balkans.
The focus this time is Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. IFFs are the mechanisms by which money earned illegally is transferred into and out of economies to criminal beneficiaries worldwide. Each year, large sums of money are transferred out of developing and transitioning economies. These are funds that could have been used for public and private goods: public services, investment or jobs. The whole society suffers as a result of their loss.
The recommendations from the report focus first of all on improving the visibility and data-sharing on IFFs, particularly in the financial sector and trade ‘channels’. Second, GI TOC encourage a far greater dialogue on IFFs in the region, focused on a clearer definition and with an explicit role for CSOs. Third, national IFF priorities should be agreed on, to ensure the responses are measured and meaningful, such as greater institutional information sharing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and updated AML frameworks for Montenegro and Serbia, with a particular focus on the construction sector. Fourth, the countries should also agree on and coordinate regional priorities, such as harmonization of measures to address tax evasion and a common policy to record and monitor beneficial ownership. Government anti-corruption activities need greater strength across the region. Finally, donor support for combating IFFs must be more closely aligned and coordinated to avoid duplication of effort.
The report in English is available following this link>>>.
Version in Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian is available following this link>>>.
Accompanying the report, GI TOC organises webinar on 26 Jan 2022 at 3 PM (CET). The webinar will stimulate a conversation around key issues of IFFs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia and the broader Western Balkans region. The event will feature insights from experts on the topic from the three focus countries as well as other experts on IFFs to look at the problem and effective responses to it.
To participate, register here>>>.