White Collar Crimes To Move $5.21 Billion In Peru In 2011

White collar crime in Peru is expected to move more than $5.21 billion this year, equivalent to about 3.41% of the country’s gross domestic product, daily El Comercio reported, citing official figures.

“The big problem with local white collar criminals is that, due to their sophistication, they move unnoticed and when there is suspicion they come out gracefully with the support of their political partners or their allies in the big international mafias,” said Julio Rodriguez, a lawyer at firm Jorge Avendaño & Forsyth.

Rodriguez compared the current situation to a police officer on a bike chasing after the criminals in BMWs. Police are only able to put out small fires, while illicit transactions continue multiplying, he said.

The executive director of the firm Aguirre Abogados, Javier Aguirre, said that Peru has legislation and a criminal code comparable to other nations, but the country lacks an operational structure and strategy to combat the money laundering, pirating and other crimes.

Experts say that better control levers are required from Congress to assist prosecutors and police in their task to carry out operations, in order to tackle the issue effectively.

Much of the money laundering in Peru comes from the drug trade. Peru is the world’s biggest producer of coca leaves, the raw material used to make cocaine.

The global cocaine business has an estimated worth of about $85 billion. It is forecast that about 15 percent of those funds stay in the producer countries, which also include Bolivia and Colombia. The United Nations estimates that the drug trade in Peru accounts for about 6 percent of the country’s GDP.

About 80 percent of the funds that are laundered in Peru come from the drug trade, while 5 percent come from tax fraud.

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