According to the Fiscale Inlichtingen en OpsporingsDienst (FIOD), Dutch criminals are increasingly using exports to Africa to launder money. These funds are then invested in diamonds and gold from the continent, FIOD chief Bert Langerak has said. Countries like Uganda and Kenya have been increasingly playing a role in money laundering schemes.
Investigations by the tax fraud detection body has shown that criminals ‘exported’ at least €150 mln worth of produce, particularly potatoes, to Africa in the last five years. ‘We were always the organisation of ‘follow the money’ but our approach has progressed from there and we’re looking at crypto currency and goods exports as well,’ Langerak stated.
Langerak said laundering money via agricultural exports and other types of goods is fairly easy in businesses where people still pay in cash. ‘They turn up at the grower’s with a holdall full of €500 notes and pay for a consignment of potatoes in cash in the name of a foreign buyer. The potatoes are exported and sold in another country. Criminal money is mixed in with legal trade and the earnings look as if they are the result of honest business dealings,’ he said.
Gold and diamonds Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic are also becoming popular places to invest criminal money in diamonds, gold and a range of other raw materials which can be sold anywhere in the world. ‘And in the end they use that money to buy a hotel in Amsterdam, for instance,’ said Langerak.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com