Pakistan urges end to illicit flow of stolen assets

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Pakistan has called for creating a “robust” mechanism for the return of stolen assets of developing countries that illicitly flow to “haven” nations.
“These flows stifle economic growth in the developing countries and condemn their poor population to a life of inequality and indignity,” Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the General Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters.
Speaking in a debate on a range of global economic issues, he called as “shocking” the findings in last month’s report of the Panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) that billions of dollars annually go out of the developing countries in illicit financial flows.
According to the report, one trillion dollars is taken out each year by criminals; 20 to 40 billion dollars is in the form of bribes received by the corrupt; seven trillion dollars in stolen assets is parked in “haven” countries, and 5 to 6 hundred billion dollars is lost each year in tax avoidance by multinational companies.
“This bleeding of the poorer countries must stop,” Aamir Khan said. Destination countries of the illicit financial flows from developing countries, he said must punish the enablers and eliminate “safe haven” for such money.