HomeNewsBriefPeru Tackles Money Laundering via Currency Exchange
BRIEF

Peru Tackles Money Laundering via Currency Exchange

ILLEGAL MINING / 30 OCT 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Peru's recent approval of fairly rudimentary monitoring of currency exchange services is one sign of how far the country has to go in its anti-money laundering efforts.

As part of the government's ongoing efforts to combat money laundering, on October 28 Peru's Superintendent of Banking and Insurance (SBS) approved regulations requiring currency "exchange houses" to register clients conducting transactions of $5,000 or greater value. Those making transactions valued between $200 and $5,000 will be required to show identification.

Additionally, "high risk" clients, such as non-Peruvians and unregistered businesses, will be subject to extra scrutiny. Information on transactions of $5,000 or greater will periodically be sent to the SBS's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) for review.

The regulation is set to go into effect March 1, 2016.

InSight Crime Analysis

When it comes to money laundering, Peruvian officials seem aware they have a serious problem on their hands. In recent years, Peru's growing economy and expanding service industry has opened vulnerabilities for criminal groups to exploit in order to legitimize illicitly-earned gains.

Peru's move towards stricter oversight of currency exchange is a positive development. Nonetheless, it is a rather rudimentary step, indicating how far the country has to go towards establishing a comprehensive and effective anti-money laundering policy. (As recently as 2012, Peru's justice minister admitted the country had zero convictions for money laundering.)

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Money Laundering

Recent figures shed light on the potential scale of money laundering within Peru. According to El Comercio, since 2010 the SBS has registered over 3,000 transactions linked to money laundering and financing of terrorism. The UIF reportedly estimates the amount of money moved in these suspicious transactions amounts to more than $8 billion.

The SBS figures also suggest that the government would do well to target money laundering connected to illegal gold mining. As El Comercio reported, the SBS believes that 44 percent of suspicious financial transactions since 2010 -- a figure that amounts to $4.35 billion -- are linked to gold mining. In contrast, 31 percent were connected to drug trafficking ($3.11 billion) and 7 percent to corruption ($716 million). Peru's illegal gold trade is worth an estimated $3 billion a year, and, as the SBS numbers suggest, could now be bringing in bigger profits than the drug trade

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 SEP 2021

A court in Cabo Verde has approved the extradition to the United States of Colombian businessman Álex Saab, who may…

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 FEB 2021

Mexico's tax authority has dismissed Ramón García Gibson, one of its highest-ranking officials, for “evident conflicts of interest” and his…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…