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Using money laundering investigations to fight corruption in developing countries: Domestic obstacles and strategies to overcome them

Anti-money laundering systems have the potential to curb the use of proceeds of corruption and other crimes by the perpetrators. An effectively implemented anti-money laundering framework limits the channels through which illicit funds can be laundered, making crime riskier and reducing the incentives for corrupt activities. However, those who stand to benefit from corruption have strong incentives to block anti-money laundering programmes. In addition, these programmes face significant obstacles to effectiveness in most developing countries. Relevant institutions do not trust each other sufficiently to share information necessary for investigations. Countries lack qualified staff and necessary resources, and slow bureaucratic procedures are unable to keep up with the speed of financial transactions. This paper explores these and other domestic obstacles and suggests strategies to overcome them, based on an analysis of the situations in Albania and Tanzania.

26 November 2012
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Pereira, P.; Fontana, A.; (2012) Using money laundering investigations to fight corruption in developing countries: Domestic obstacles and strategies to overcome them. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue )

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Pedro Gomes Pereira
Alessandra Fontana

Alessandra Fontana is an independent researcher and consultant. She has provided support to developing countries in the implementation of policies and conducted applied research and policy analysis. She worked for the OECD focusing on efforts undertaken by the international community in illicit financial flows and managed projects in corruption prevention in the Middle East and North Africa. She was an adviser for U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, focused on illicit financial flows and political party financing. Prior to that, she managed a large research project for Transparency International on political party financing across Latin America. In 2002, she received a Thomson Reuters Foundation scholarship for her work as a financial journalist in Brazil.


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This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


legal instruments, justice sector, illicit financial flows, Tanzania, money laundering, donor coordination, financial industry, Albania