Thursday 03 December 2020

Criminals launder €13bn a year in the Netherlands, most crime cash is Dutch

Criminal cash seized by the police. Photo: Politie.nl

At least €13bn is laundered through the Netherlands on an annual basis, with most of the money coming from Dutch criminal enterprises, according to new research quoted in the Finanancieele Dagblad.

Utrecht University professor Brigitte Unger estimates that half the €16bn generated by crime in the Netherlands is laundered through Dutch institutions, with the rest – some €5bn – coming from abroad.

This, the FD said, shows that the Netherlands is not as popular a place to launder money as some claim. For example, some €340bn a year is laundered through Britain and the US, the paper said. This represents some 40% of the total amount estimated to be laundered via the 36 OECD countries.

Together, the laundered money accounts for some 1.6% of Dutch GDP, Unger said at a closed meeting to discuss her research.

She and her team were given access to highly confidential police, fraud squad, public prosecution and tax information to carry out the research, as well as suspicious transaction information from banks and casinos.

Earlier this year, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reported on a money laundering operation which moved billions of euros out of Russia and of which almost €1bn of the money ended up in the Netherlands.

And in September, ABN Amro confirmed the Dutch public prosecution department had launched a criminal investigation into possible money laundering at the bank. ING has also been fined €775m for failing to comply properly with money laundering rules.

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