You might remember Global Financial Integrity’s report on illicit money flows early last year, where they reported Malaysia as being the fifth highest victim of uncategorised capital outflows in the last decade.
At the time, I partially validated their findings at least in terms of the trade mispricing channel – wildly different reported values for exports and imports between different trade partners.
So since I had a bit of time, and lots of curiosity, I decided to take a bit of a deeper look into the question of Malaysian trade mispricing, using the United Nations Commodities Trade database (Comtrade), which carries data on both imports and exports as reported by nearly every trading nation (Taiwan not included).
Did I find capital outflows? Yes, I did, and on a scale that conforms to the GFI report.