WASHINGTON, DC – A letter published yesterday by two influential U.S. Congressmen suggests that Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex), the Mexican subsidiary of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which recently came under fire for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, may have been engaged in money laundering and tax evasion in Mexico.
“While Global Financial Integrity does not know the veracity of the lawmakers contentions, or whether Walmex, specifically, has engaged in money laundering or tax evasion, it’s important to know that illicit financial flows—predominantly from trade-based money laundering techniques and tax evasion—cost the Mexican economy roughly $50 billion per year,” said Tom Cardamone, managing director of Global Financial Integrity (GFI), citing a January 2012 GFI report on the topic.
Further, the report, which was authored by GFI Lead Economist Dev Kar, found that much of the illicit money outflows end up in the United States.
“Tax evasion, money laundering, and corruption are extremely costly to the Mexican economy,” added Heather Lowe, GFI’s legal counsel and director of government affairs. “We’re talking about the loss of $50 billion per year which otherwise could have been directed toward developing the Mexican economy, toward building roads and hospitals, or toward fighting the drug cartels. This has hugely negative consequence for the Mexican people.”
To schedule an interview with Mr. Cardamone, Dr. Kar, or Ms. Lowe, please contact Clark Gascoigne at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202-293-0740 ext. 222.
Notes to Editors:
+1 202-293-0740 ext.222
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfintegrity.org.