How Big is Global Money Laundering?

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Publication date: 1 March 1999


Known incidents of money laundering involving large amounts of money generated from crime are of tremendous public interest and are consequently given wide publicity. A wide range of national and international agencies have attempted to quantify organised crime and components of money laundering in their particular sphere of interest, and their assessments are frequently made available in public statements. The purpose of this paper is to describe a comparatively simple crime‐economic model, constructed from readily available international databases, that closely ‘predicts’ a range of such expert assessments, and appears to offer a framework for determining and monitoring the size of money‐laundering flows around the world. Further research is required, but the exercise of constructing the model has identified a number of gaps in existing knowledge which could readily be addressed by well‐targeted research. Initial output from the model suggests a global money‐laundering total of S2.85bn per year, heavily concentrated in Europe and North America.


Walker, J. (1999), "How Big is Global Money Laundering?", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 25-37.

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Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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