MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government has noted serious shortcomings in its fight against corruption in a classified report seen by Reuters, which was prepared ahead of an international evaluation of the country’s efforts to combat money laundering.
The undated government report estimated that the drug trade, tax fraud and other crimes were worth at least 1.13 trillion pesos ($58.5 billion USD) a year in Mexico, with all of that money susceptible to money laundering.
In October last year the government published a much shorter official version of the findings, which broadly described the risks of money laundering without going into detail.
The sum of illicit funds identified in the classified report was equivalent to 6.6 percent of the Mexican economy in 2014, when the data was compiled. It did not include an estimate of the value of corruption and several other crimes.
The 321-page report was prepared ahead of an evaluation of the country’s performance in preventing money laundering by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global group of government agencies dedicated to tackling money laundering.
“The view is that the risk represented by illicit funds susceptible to money laundering in Mexico generated within the jurisdiction is HIGH,” the report said, capitalizing the word.
The government said on Thursday the FATF evaluation, which is not yet public, showed Mexico had made “significant” progress in combating money laundering since the last evaluation in 2008. The FATF did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The Mexican government report is the first of its kind, according to people familiar with it, and was assembled from official data and independent research.
Part of a broader investigation into illicit wealth in Mexico, the government concluded that Mexico needed “more efficient mechanisms” to prevent graft, including new laws that would complement the national anti-corruption architecture.
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