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Case Study

Cash is King: Impact of the Ukraine war on illicit financial flows in South Eastern Europe

July 2023 — By Vanya Petrova

The primary goal of this report is to assess the major enablers and vulnerabilities of illicit finance in the eight Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More concretely, the study aims to analyze the primary IFFs sources and channels in the region, and identify any emerging trends concerning modus operandi, routes, business models, use of information and communications technology. In addition, the study intends to inspect the pressing challenges to border control, police and anti-money laundering authorities to effectively prevent, investigate and counter organized crime involved in cash smuggling and money laundering. Finally, the report aims to suggest feasible recommendations for improvement.