Peru Banking Group Conference to Tackle Money Laundering

Peru’s banking association is organizing an international conference in May that aims to tackle money laundering, a major issue in Peru.

The VI International Conference for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism will be held May 27-29 in Lima and is being organized by Asbanc, which represents the main private-sector banks operating in the Andean nation.

According to Asbanc, more than $8 billion from illegal activities have been laundered in Peru’s banking system over the past several years, daily El Comercio reported. The figure is equivalent to about 12 percent of Peru’s international reserves at the end of 2013.

Illegal money has affected all business sectors in Peru, according to the banking association.

“We have to be a step ahead and discover new mechanisms to prevent and control money laundering, in order to avoid legal, operational, and reputational problems that are caused by ill-gotten money and its consequences on Peruvian society,” the association said.

The two main sources of money laundering in Peru are considered to be drug trafficking and illegal mining. Peru is the world’s biggest producer of cocaine, while illegal gold mining has taken off over the past decade, involving thousands of people and causing serious environmental and social problems.

The illegal nature of the activities makes it difficult to estimate their size, although economists say that both drug trafficking and illegal mining likely rake in between $1 billion to $2 billion in profits annually.

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