The G-20 leaders met in Rome, Italy for the first time after the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed a wide range of challenges including 15% minimum global taxation, climate change, energy shortage, COVID-19 vaccination, and other global issues. During the summit, the leaders of 20 big economies have adopted the Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2022-2024. According to reports, the leaders vowed to renew their commitment to zero tolerance for corruption in the public and private sectors to achieve common goals in the global fight against corruption. According to reports, G-20 leaders reiterated their commitment to deny safe havens to corruption offenders and their assets, in accordance with domestic laws and to combat transnational corruption. The group leaders pledged to provide competent authorities with adequate, accurate and up-to-date information by adopting legally appropriate measures to improve international and domestic beneficial ownership, especially transnational flows, in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
Corruption is an ancient curse which has accumulated new trends and techniques with the gradual development of mankind in the fields of economy, trade, and technology over the past decades. The modern age development has been used by the criminals for coining new methods and techniques for collection, hiding and transfer of illegal money from one part of the world to another. According to a recent report of UNODC, currently illegal money is being laundered online through crypto currencies across the world without risk of detection by the LEAs. According to experts, criminals’ unlimited access to the internet has contributed toward unprecedented increase in online crimes and corruption whereas lack of coordination among the world’s LEAs has made its detection difficult during current times.
During a recent meeting in Rome, the leaders of the G-20 countries vowed to combat corruption and corruption offenders through their high-level principles and expressed extreme commitments against this social crime, however if they are really serious in eradicating this menace from the world. The G-20 nations must look inward because the financial, banking, and commercial systems of these developed countries, particularly the United States and Europe, is providing safe heavens to black money/ offshore wealth and facilitates the offenders in evading the justice and accountability in their countries. According to a recent report released by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), worldwide 956 companies are tied to offshore heavens and a secretive global financial system while two third of them are registered in British Virgin Island, a UK’s held territory. According to the report, the key players in the offshore system are the elite institutions, multinational banks, law, and accounting firms based in the US and Europe.
In fact, the financial and Political interests of big powers support the deeply secretive global financial system and offshore financial abuses through such tax havens. If international power players want to end this crime, then they must put a ban on the registration of offshore firms in their countries and bring transparency in their banking system, otherwise all such claims have no value. As far as FATF is concerned, it has proved to be a political persecution tool of big powers rather than a global financial watchdog because it never voiced against tax havens and secret banking systems in the west. Therefore, if G-20 nations are sincere in their fight against corruption, they must initiate this campaign through renovation of their own system to seize full dividends of their plan.