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Study finds connection between corruption and money laundering in Nordic countries

Ministry of Justice
7.6.2021 15.30
Press release

Operators based in the Nordic countries can be taken advantage of in money laundering related to corruption, even though open corruption, such as bribery, is relatively rare in the Nordic countries. This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the Police University College on the connection between corruption and money laundering in the Nordic countries.

Operators based in the Nordic countries can be taken advantage of in money laundering related to corruption, even though open corruption, such as bribery, is relatively rare in the Nordic countries. This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the Police University College on the connection between corruption and money laundering in the Nordic countries.

The project, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, focused on examining bribery in international business. According to the study, bribes given in international business, for example, can be concealed through using consultants or complex business structures. In the Nordic countries, cases have emerged where operators in the ICT sector, logistics, defence industry and financial sector have been taken advantage of as intermediaries in laundering corrupt funds. 

The international dimension makes investigating these cases challenging, and relatively few convictions have been passed for bribery in international business or money laundering of corrupt funds.

Anti-corruption efforts require cooperation

The preliminary study consisted of a literature review, a statistical review and a survey addressed to the financial intelligence units in the Nordic countries. The survey examined the respondents' views on the links between the different phenomena and collected experiences of suspected money laundering cases where the funds may originate from corrupt activities. The study showed that the obliged entities referred to in the Money Laundering Act play a key role in identifying corruption, but it is still difficult to identify and investigate corruption.

The complex and ambiguous nature of corruption makes it difficult to combat. In evaluations concerning the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts, attention has been paid to the supervision of subcontracting arrangements and the protection of whistleblowers in the Nordic countries. Multi-sectoral cooperation and training are an important part of the anti-corruption efforts. 

The project will continue this year with a study examining good practices in the identification and analysis of corruption by the authorities and obliged entities under the Money Laundering Act.

Inquiries:
Pirjo Jukarainen, Project Manager, Police University College, tel. +358 295 483226, [email protected]
Saana Rikkilä, Researcher, Police University College, tel. +358 295 483197, [email protected]
Vesa Muttilainen, Chief of Research, Police University College, tel. +358 295 483809, [email protected]
Juuso Oilinki, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150323, [email protected]

Report: Money Laundering and Corruption in International Business − Preliminary Study Based on Nordic Experiences