Illicit Financial Flows and Asset Recovery in the Republic of Moldova - Research Paper 2021
02 September 2021
Organised crime produces significant amounts of illicit revenue and proceeds globally and in Europe. Organised criminal activity in Moldova largely reflects and aligns with regional patterns involving the scope, nature, and impact of such activity. The principal criminal activities in Moldova are corruption, tax evasion, illicit drug trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling of arms and illicit goods, CBRN trafficking, cybercrime, tobacco smuggling and large-scale financial crimes. Moldova has seen significant levels of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) related to these criminal activities in recent years, such as two high-level financial crime schemes involving the banking sector and government corruption. One case alone resulted in over USD one billion of laundered money exiting the country, roughly 13% of Moldova’s GDP.
Moldova has invested substantially in policy reform measures to combat the nexus of corruption, organised crime and IFFs. However, there are still significant opportunities to strengthen and streamline capacity (and results) in the seizure and confiscation assets linked to such illicit activity, as well as to channel such recovered assets to high-priority development needs such as those within the health, education and infrastructure sectors. Improving mechanisms to seize and confiscate illicitly-obtained assets will contribute to such development initiatives and can significantly improve the quality of life of Moldovans.