Capital flight costs Bangladesh over $61 billion since 2005


DHAKA: Illicit cash outflows from the country has cost Bangladesh as much as $61.63 billion between 2005 and 2014, according to a report released by the nonprofit organisation Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The data was released by the Washington-based research and advisory organisation on illicit financial flows GFI on Monday based on a research on 150 countries.

The report shows that illicit capital flows from Bangladesh were on a higher trend from 2007 following political turmoil of the time, and it continued until 2013 when the highest $9.66 billion was siphoned off.

Of the total $61.63 billion illicit capital flow, $56.83 billion was through trade misinvoicing while the rest $4.8 billion could not be traced in the balance of payments data, the report added.

Commenting on the report, former chief economist of Bangladesh Bank, Biru Paksha Paul, pointed out that under-invoicing in export and over-invoicing in import are the key drivers behind illicit capital flight.

“If under-invoicing in export and over-invoicing in import can be controlled, around 50% illegal capital flight could be stopped”, Paul said.

Illicit cash flows from developing and emerging economies kept pace at nearly $1 trillion in 2014 according to the report, paralysing economic growth in poor countries.