WASHINGTON—A recent report published by the Global Financial Integrity suggests that during the period between 2002 to 2011 some $6.2 billion have been illegally taken out of Armenia as a result of government corruption, tax evasion and other illicit financial dealings.
The Washington-based watchdog group revealed the figures in its report “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2011,” published this month. The figure is almost double Armenia’s foreign debt.
The report concludes that developing nations have lost some $6 trillion in illegal financial outflows, with Armenia registering a growth in that number beginning in 2007, when the outflows began eclipsing the $1 billion mark.
Armenia has been ranked 71th, while Azerbaijan in 44th with an estimated $17 billion in illegal outflows. Topping the list are China and Russia respectively. Armenia’s neighbor to the north, Georgia, was ranked 78th with $4.5 billion in such funds.
“The US is the second easiest country to open a money laundering firm in. And despite tax reforms, the government is perilously behind in the movement for corporate transparency,” reported the London-based The Guardian newspaper in its coverage of the GFI report last week.
“The US Department of Justice acknowledged last year that anonymous shell companies are the number one tool used by criminals to launder their illicit funds,” added The Guardian.