The amount of money laundered in Colombia each year has risen to eight billion dollars, more than three percent of the country’s GDP, according to officials.
Attorney General Viviane Morales, speaking at an anti-money laundering convention in Cartagena, said that the laundering of illegal gains has become a regressive tax paid by all Colombians.
Maria Mercedes Cuellar, head of Colombian banking association Asobancaria, said that it was necessary to get rid of the idea that all money laundering is connected to drug trafficking.
Other illicit activities, like illegal gold mining and extortion, are also source of profit for criminal groups in the country.
The attorney general pointed to the negative impact of money laundering on the economy, in terms of causing reevaluation of the currency, driving up inflation and interest rates, and discouraging foreign investment in the country.