Financial experts estimate that up to $17 Billion of money from drug trafficking, arms trafficking and human trafficking in Colombia is laundered each year. The amount of money laundering that takes place in Colombia is over 5 percent of the country’s GDP.
Out of the total amount laundered in the country, an estimated $8.8 Billion is proceeds from Colombia’s illegal drug trade.
In 2012, federal security officials seized $128 Million worth of black market products, less than 10 percent of the total illicit trade.
In an example of how the money is laundered, authorities stated that one way is through fake gold sales. Colombia produces 15 tons of gold each year, but the amount of gold that is exported from the country is reported to be 70 tons. The bulk of the higher reported gold sales is believed to be fictitious sales.
Source: Helen Murphy and Nelson Bocanegra, “Money laundering distorts Colombia’s economic comeback,” Reuters, May 28, 2013.