An estimated six to 10 percent of Malaysia's total trade in 2014 comprised illicit financial outflows, according to the 2005-2014 report of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) on illicit financial flows to and from developing countries.
This translates to between US$26.6 billion and US$44.3 billion, based on the country's total trade of US$443.2 billion in 2014.
GFI estimates illicit financial outflows by looking at legitimate trade being used to mask the transfer of funds abroad.
One commonly used method is through trade misinvoicing, which GFI estimates make up between US$22.2 billion and US$39.9 billion of Malaysia's total illicit outflow in 2014.
According to GFI, trade misinvoicing is a method for moving money illicitly across borders by deliberately misreporting the value of a commercial transaction on the invoice submitted to the Customs Department.
The report, released in the United States yesterday, puts Malaysia's total illicit outflow in the 10 years since 2005 at eight to 12 percent of the total trade, or US$287 billion to US$430.6 billion...