10 African countries with the highest money laundering risk

Money laundering is a global issue that transcends borders, with numerous countries serving as hotspots for these illicit financial activities.

money laundering
  • Business Insider Africa presents 10 African countries with the highest money laundering risk.
  • Almost two-thirds of African countries fall into the high-risk category, with an overall risk score of 6.54.
  • The list is courtesy of Afrobarometer.

Defined as the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money, typically through transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses, money laundering poses a grave threat to the socioeconomic fabric of countries, including those in Africa.

Africa's economic landscape, characterised by a spectrum ranging from thriving economies to those grappling with poverty, provides fertile ground for money launderers.

Disparities in wealth and development, coupled with the absence of robust enforcement mechanisms create an environment where financial crimes can flourish.

Globalisation, and rapid technological advances, have also ushered in new dimensions to money laundering on the continent. Cybercrime, digital currencies, and online platforms provide sophisticated channels for criminals to exploit the financial systems of African nations.

A recent report by the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) at the Basel Institute of Governance assessed the world's risk of money laundering. Basel AML Index gives risk scores based on data from 15 publicly available sources, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.

Per the report, almost two-thirds of African countries fall into the high-risk category, with an overall risk score of 6.54.

Rank Country Overall score Global rank
1 Chad 8.14 2
2 Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.10 4
3 Republic of the Congo 7.91 5
4 Mozambique 7.88 6
5 Gabon 7.73 7
6 Guinea-Bissau 7.69 8
7 Madagascar 7.43 11
8 Algeria 7.22 12
9 Liberia 7.17 13
10 Sierra Leone 7.09 14

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