U.N. warns of growing money laundering, shadow banking risk from Mekong casinos

U.N. warns of growing money laundering, shadow banking risk from Mekong casinos

Article brief provided by VOA
  • Zsombor Peter, VOA
October 30, 2023 3:25 PM

Transnational criminal gangs are using Southeast Asia’s booming and increasingly digital gambling industry as a shadow banking system to covertly move and launder ever more dirty money, United Nations officials have told VOA.

Story continues below

Drawing on new research and analysis, including the latest intelligence from local law enforcement, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime believes the region’s casinos and online gambling sites now handle tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars in returns a year from illegal gambling, drug trafficking, cyberscams and other organized crime, the UNODC officials say.

The same digital tools helping to make that growth possible, they added, are making the money trail harder for authorities to track and interdict.