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Is Money Laundering in Macau a Surprise to Anyone? No, Seriously, Is It?

The South China Morning Post is reporting that money laundering is more common in Hong Kong and Macau than anywhere else in the world, with rates far exceeding the global average. But is anyone surprised by this? It almost seems expected in this city of sin and “bankster” land. (Credit here to Max Keiser, who coined the phrase.)

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Interestingly, an accounting poll conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers—how this was done and how accurate it is I would say is anyone’s guess—found that 37% of companies in Hong Kong and Macau, mainly banks and casinos, had experienced money laundering in the past few years. This is compared to the global average of 11%.

That said, Hong Kong is only 9th in the world behind countries like Britain in money laundering… so, way to go Britain! (Tongue planted firmly in cheek as some of my British friends might say.)

In 2012, Hong Kong passed a law against money laundering and terrorist financing. Since that time, the courts have convicted 552 people of money laundering—246 in 2011, 166 in 2012, and 140 in 2013. Common sense would seem to dictate that enthusiasm for convictions is perhaps on the wane rather than the likelihood these crimes have simply ceased.

For more on this story, click here and head over to the South China Morning Post.