New Zealand is not free from financial crime, with dirty money finding its way into our economy, and even deeper into the fabric of our society.
We’re working hard to tackle white collar crime in New Zealand. Money laundering (the ‘cleaning’ of money made from crimes such as fraud, dealing in illegal drugs and tax evasion) and bribery (the abuse of power for personal financial or political gain) continue to pose risks to our integrity, and to our ranking in the global Corruption Perception Index.
The estimated $1.35 billion NZD in laundered money each year is also indicative of a thriving underbelly of illegal drug markets and other kinds of illegal activity – crimes which take a huge toll on their victims and their families.
To effectively stamp out and prevent financial crimes wherever they might exist, organisations and individuals need to learn first how to identify the warning signs. Transparency International New Zealand works to generate awareness of bribery supports and facilitates prevention training to help boost internal capability. TINZ also monitors legislation and enforcement, to ensure our laws and regulations are working hard against corruption.
Cross-border bribery has significant repercussions for countries, creating unfair competitive advantages and with lost money reducing the availability of public services for vulnerable people. Transparency International’s “Exporting Corruption” report rates how well 44 of the world’s largest exporters are enforcing OECD Anti-Bribery Convention rules.
Bribes made in the public sector divert much-needed resources away from priority areas such as education, health, and infrastructure. This has a ripple effect, impacting economic and social development – with Kiwis everywhere feeling the effects of illegal actions made by a few.
Bribery can be difficult to trace, as it’s not always in the form of money. Bribes could be favours (offers of housing or employment), payment of expenses (medical bills, schools fees), gifts (travel, entertainment, goods) or a number of other things.