More than $6 billion laundered every year in Peru, says Central Bank

Elmer Cuba, the director of Peru’s Central Bank, said that each year some $6 billion is laundered through illicit business practices and underground criminal networks.

That number is equivalent to a whopping three percent of the country’s total GDP.

Cuba mentioned that Peru still has a far way to go in ironing out public policies that can prevent such rampant laundering, as the Andean nation finds itself in the aftermath of a widespread bribery scandal produced by Odebrecht and on the eve of an important anti-corruption referendum.

“We are currently in the middle of the test, although we have seen the judicial system is able to imprison corrupt people,” Cuba said of the upcoming referendum. The Dec. 9 popular vote will decide on four anti-corruption measures: how political parties are funded, whether or not lawmakers can continue to run for reelection in the same positions, the enactment of a bicameral legislature, and general reform to the National Council of the Magistracy.

Cuba remarked at a recent business conference that Peru’s cotinued surge in the international economy should only help when it comes to rooting out illicit practices.

“Peru is an emerging country,” Cuba said. “According to the economic theory, the poorest countries should grow faster. We can expand up to 6%; we have done it before for almost 10 years, between 2003 and 2014.”

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