Global Military Spending Surges Amid War

SIPRI for the media

Global military spending surges amid war, rising tensions and insecurity

Total global military expenditure reached $2443 billion in 2023, an increase of 6.8 per cent in real terms from 2022. This was the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009. The 10 largest spenders in 2023—led by the United States, China and Russia—all increased their military spending, according to new data on global military spending published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), available at

Photo: Shutterstock

Money Laundering from Environmental Crime

 Environmental crime – such as forestry crime, illegal mining and waste trafficking – is an extremely profitable criminal enterprise, generating billions in criminal gains each year. It fuels corruption, and converges with many other serious and organised crimes, such as tax fraud, drug trafficking and forced labour.

20.05.2022 G7 Germany Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors´ Petersberg Communiqué

“We recognise that the fight against money laundering linked to environmental crimes can contribute to combatting climate change as well as the loss of biodiversity. We renew our commitment to address the risks of illicit finance from environmental crime and recognize them as a cross-cutting issue.”

G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors´ Petersberg Communiqué


28.06.2021 FATF: Money Laundering from Environmental Crime

Money Laundering from Environmental Crime

25.06.2020 FATF: Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade

10.09.2018 Interpol World Atlas of illicit flows / Environment

Combined, environmental crimes, including those that involve the sale or taxation of natural resources, account for 38% of the financing of conflicts and of non-state armed groups, including terrorist groups; followed by drugs (at 28%); other forms of illegal taxation, extortion, confiscation and looting (26%); external donations (3%); and money extorted through kidnapping (3%).1 This evidence-based report aims to quantify how these illicit flows finance the major non-state armed groups

See Environmental crime. The largest conflict finance sector page 15

World Atlas of Illicit Flows

03.01.2024 Global Fishing Watch Study reveals 75 percent of the world’s industrial fishing vessels are hidden from public view

New research harnesses AI and satellite imagery to reveal the expanding footprint of human activity at sea

05.01.2024 Heise: Dank Satellitenbildern und KI: Bislang unbekannte Fischereiflotten entdeckt

Thanks to satellite images and AI: previously unknown fishing fleets discovered

24.01.2024 Sentinel-1 and AI reveal 75% of fishing vessels not tracked

2024 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum

26 – 27 March 2024

Democracies are under unprecedented internal and external pressures, and efforts to uphold integrity are more important than ever. Threats of foreign interference, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the speed and scale of climate change are giving rise to new corruption risks and increasing pressure on integrity frameworks. Strengthening these frameworks is essential to support government, the private sector and civil society in efficiently combating corruption and producing the best outcomes for the public.

The 2024 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum will gather leaders from around the world to share new thinking, insights and evidence, and to explore how anti-corruption policies and integrity frameworks can enhance our ability to respond to the future challenges our democracies face. It will also mark the 25th Anniversary of the Anti-Bribery Convention, a cornerstone in the global fight against corruption, and a catalyst for policy change.

Fight Against Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing In The EU

The EU’s rules on anti money laundering and countering terrorist financing protect its financial system and contribute to security and growth.

EU fight against money laundering

Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are major concerns for the EU. They pose major risks to the EU’s economy and financial system and to the security of its citizens.

For over thirty years, the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing has been high on the EU’s political agenda, with the first anti-money-laundering directive (AMLD) being adopted in 1991. Since then, the directive has undergone several reforms.
Fight Against Terrorism

Euro banknotes hanging on a washing line.

NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order

Drug trafficking is a globe-spanning business. Cocaine might start life at a plantation in Colombia before being repackaged in Mexico, processed in the Netherlands, and sold on to users as far away as Bulgaria. Markets are booming in Asia, Africa, and Australia, generating billions in illicit revenues that flow back across the world through bank wires, cash transfers, and other transactions.

But the harms are not felt equally. It is developing nations that are most often strangled by the drug trade’s tentacles of violence, corruption, environmental destruction, and economic instability. The borderless nature of these crimes — and the gangs and cartels behind them — requires cross-border cooperation by journalists trying to expose them.

NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order, the largest investigative project of its kind to originate in Latin America, was launched with this in mind.

OCCRP, the Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística (CLIP), Vorágine, and Cerosetenta / 070 gained early access to the data from two organizations, Distributed Denial of Secrets and Enlace Hacktivista. They then shared the leak with more than 40 other media outlets. Journalists from over 23 countries worked on the investigation, chiefly in Latin America but also in Europe and the United States.

Using leads found in the leaked data, reporters produced dozens of stories revealing the myriad ways in which organized crime groups are evolving, expanding, and experimenting in the modern world — while leaving new victims along the way….

Julias Baer Bank Financial Crimes

On this episode of the Whistleblowers, John Kiriakou speaks with Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer. While working in the Cayman Islands as an employee of Julius Baer he exposed financial crimes. In blowing the whistle, Elmer believes he was acting in the public interest. Since then he has been pursued for breaking draconian Swiss banking secrecy laws. His family has been severely harassed. Under investigation since 2005, he has already served 220 days in prison, and is still being pursued by judges of the high court in Zurich.

Julias Baer Bank financial crimes.

Vom Compliance Officer zum Whistleblower

Isabell Hemming

New Europol Report Shines Light On Multi-Billion Euro Underground Criminal Economy

Europol’s inaugural threat assessment on financial and economic crimes leverages operational insights and strategic intelligence contributed by EU Member States and Europol’s partners.
The Other Side of the Coin – Analysis of Financial and Economic Crime

The world is getting smaller, as trade, communication and infrastructure on a global scale brings us closer together. However, there is another, darker, side to the coin: our interconnected world is being abused by criminals who have created an underground economy to sustain their illegal operations.

Europol’s first ever threat assessment on the topic, ‘The other side of the coin: an analysis of financial and economic crime in the EU’, sheds a light on this system which, from the shadows, sustains the finances of criminals worldwide.

The report is based on a combination of operational insights and strategic intelligence contributed to Europol by EU Member States and Europol’s partners. It analyses all financial and economic crimes affecting the EU, such as money laundering, corruption, fraud, intellectual property crime, and commodity and currency counterfeiting.

Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle said:

Organised crime has built a parallel global criminal economy around money laundering, illicit financial transfers and corruption. With modern technology, they have diversified their modi operandi to evade detection. The report presents Europol’s expertise in financial and economic crimes, detailing how the current threats are manifesting themselves and how these crimes impact the wider society. It serves as a roadmap to foster cooperation that will derail the world of criminal finances, intercept illicit profits, and – above all else – Make Europe Safer.

The European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said:

Financial and economic crime, and its scale, is a corrosive force in society. Europol and the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre are part of the solution. This report sets out the increasingly sophisticated methods of organised crime and the European law enforcement successes in fighting back. If EU Member States work together even closer on this fight, we can achieve great results.

Key findings of the reportAlmost 70% of criminal networks operating in the EU make use of one form of money laundering or the other to fund their activities and conceal their assets.
More than 60% of the criminal networks operating in the EU use corruptive methods to achieve their illicit objectives.
80% of the criminal networks active in the EU misuse legal business structures for criminal activities.
The criminal landscape in this area is fragmented, with key players often located outside of the EU.
The techniques and tools used by the criminals advance quickly, as they take advantage of technological and geopolitical developments.

Asset recovery as a powerful deterrent

Asset recovery remains one of the most powerful tools to fight back. It deprives criminals of their ill-gotten assets and prevents them from reinvesting them in further crime or integrating them into the mainstream economy.

Increasing efforts are being made by EU legislators, Member States and law enforcement to corrode the economic power of serious and organised crime through the recovery of confiscated assets. Yet the amount of captured proceeds still remains too low – below 2% of the yearly estimated proceeds of organised crime, according to a data collection carried out on seized assets for the purpose of the report.

Commissioner Johansson’s speech at a press point with Ms Catherine De
Bolle, Executive Director of Europol on the first flagship report of the
Economic and Financial Crime Centre:
Commissioner Johansson Speech

Corruption and moneylaundering are destroying the planet. Environmental crimes like illegal wildlife trade, forestry crimes, illegal fishing, illegal mining, and waste trafficking are destroying our natural resources and threatening sustainable livelihoods.
Thank you Anne wonderful cartoon !!

Anne Derenne

Integrated Security for Germany – Anti Mony Laundering

Unfortunately, it is not enough to keep claiming that money laundering should be combated – it has to be done.

Money laundering has not been combated for decades. Money laundering finances organised crime and terrorism. It causes considerable economic damage and endangers fair economic competition.
Money laundering endangers democracy and the rule of law

  • Integrated Security for Germany – Anti Mony Laundering

“Providing security for its citizens is the most important job of every state, of every society.
Without security there can be no freedom, nostability, no prosperity.”

We will improve the transparency of asset relationships in order to combat money laundering more effectively, to better implement sanctions regimes and to be able to identify land acquisitions for security-endangering purposes in good time. This will also contribute to a better security policy understanding of financial and economic influence. In addition, efforts are being made to optimise anti-money laundering structures and their resources (page 55).

The Federal Government continues to work at national, international and EU level to sharpen existing measures to combat financial crime and money laundering and, if necessary, to create supplementary ones in order to identify financial flows in the area of organised crime even better and to further close gaps in the traceability of criminally obtained funds and assets. We do this in particular within the framework of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In this way, we are helping to ensure that criminals cannot use their illegally acquired assets and that they are deprived of them (pages 56-57).

At the national level, the Federal Government will strengthen the strategic approach against financial crime and money laundering in terms of organisation and personnel. In order to effectively combat money laundering, responsibilities will also be reviewed and the recommendations from the FATF German audit will be swiftly implemented into German law where necessary (page 57).
National Security Strategy – EU-14.6.2023.1







The War on Money Laundering has Failed

What The Collapse Of Silicon Valley Banks Says About The Stability Of U.S. Banks

NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe talks to Anat Admati, professor at Stanford University’s Business NPR logoSchool, about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and what it says about the stability of the U.S. banking system.


The rapid collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB, on Friday has left a lot of people in the banking and financial sectors shook. Signs of trouble appeared on Wednesday, when SVB announced the sale of securities at a loss. It also sold over $2 billion in new shares to bolster its bottom line, but panic had already set in. Companies started withdrawing their money, and by Friday, trading of SVB shares had halted. The bank was shut down and went under FDIC receivership. That’s the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. We’re joined now by Anat Admati, professor at Stanford University’s business school. Welcome to the program.

ANAT ADMATI: Thank you.

RASCOE: How did this bank fail – it feels like in 48 hours, but was it a longer-term thing going on here? Like, what happened?

ADMATI: Oh, definitely. It was a much longer thing in that bank in particular but across the banking system more broadly. And basically, there are two main things here. One is the fact that inflation picked up, and the Federal Reserve started increasing interest rates. And when you increase interest rates, all kinds of things start happening in banking. And historically, it has often been the precursor of some trouble.

But the other thing is that there were a lot of deposits kind of sloshing around the system, a lot of people looking for what to do with the money. So what ended up happening was all this money that Silicon Valley Bank had coming was invested, some of it in loans in the Silicon Valley area to all kinds of businesses and especially startups and venture capital and others. And there were businesses that had large deposits uninsured by the FDIC, which only covers up to $250,000. And so their investments started losing money. And that was both on some of the riskier investment loans that they made but also on various other securities.

Basically, as interest rates go up, the value of previous promises to pay at lower interest rates go down. And so a lot of banks, not just Silicon Valley Bank, have a lot of losses on the actual market value of their investments. Now, you might not see that change. It might be invisible to you because they’re not selling it, so you don’t see it, basically. And it became insolvent months ago. It just wasn’t recognized as that.

RASCOE: Is there anything in the way that this bank collapsed that tells you that SVB was an outlier? Or is this a larger issue and a sign of more troubling weakness across the banking sector?

ADMATI: I think the bank had a specific configuration that made it more vulnerable. There is trouble across the board. Right now, in December, the FDIC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, reported that across the banking system, there are $620 billion of what they call unrealized losses – in other words, losses that we’re not seeing in their reports that the banks make. And that’s up from 8 billion the year before. So it’s more about seeing who’s swimming naked. As Warren Buffett said, you know, when the tide goes down, you see who’s swimming naked. So it’s really about recognizing the weaknesses in time. And that is a job of the regulators.

RASCOE: So what does it mean for a bank to go under FDIC receivership? What can the FDIC do at this point?

ADMATI: So when FDIC takes over a bank, that’s basically the equivalent of a bankruptcy that you would file for when it becomes insolvent or it starts defaulting. What they did by stepping in is they just froze everything. And they told the insured deposits that they can get access to their money on Monday, like, in one day, and that the uninsured deposits, which is majority of them – so we’re talking about over $150 billion or something like that – will get some kind of certificate for some dividend to be decided later. So they’re not getting access to cash. Now, that created a huge problem for a lot of these small businesses around here and the large depositors because they are using the bank to make payroll.

RASCOE: Our economy is kind of in this weird space right now. We have low, really low unemployment, but then we’ve got this high inflation. We keep hearing about an impending recession, but the job numbers are still looking good. And there’s some, you know, competing factors there. So does SVB’s collapse say anything about the larger economic picture? And should people be really – regular people who just kind of get their paychecks at the bank, at Wells Fargo or, you know, Bank of America – should they be worried about keeping their money in the bank?

ADMATI: No, no, definitely not. There is no question that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is good for its guarantee. The FDIC essentially is backed by the government and by the Federal Reserve. They will not default on their promises to guarantee all deposits up to $250,000 per person per account. Other things that are not insured deposits – one is taking risk with those in principle. And, you know, people like higher returns, so they move money to money market funds to, you know, all kinds of other mutual funds, and then they invest. So that’s an issue. But certainly, deposits are not – deposits up to the deposit insurance limits are not a problem…

23rd Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum – Washington, D.C.

Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum
23rd Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum – Washington, D.C., December 6-7,
Illicit Finance – Day 1
• Senator Larry Pressler, Former United States Senator
• Hon. Jerome Beaumont, Executive Secretary, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence
• Hon. Andreas Frank, AML/CFT advisor for the Bundestag, Council Europe and the European Parliament ( 2:08min -2:19 minute and more about Andreas Frank )
• Prof. Celina Realuyo, Professor of Practice, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University
• Mr. Mariano Federici, Senior Managing Director, K2 Integrity

23rd Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum – Washington, D.C. – Day 2