On 17 May, we will launch the latest edition of the Financial Secrecy Index, a ranking of countries most complicit in helping individuals to hide their finances from the rule of law. First published in 2009, the index is now established as the key ranking of secrecy jurisdictions around the world. The Financial Secrecy Index spotlights the laws and policies that governments can change to reduce their contribution to global financial secrecy.
An estimated $10 trillion is held offshore beyond the rule of law by wealthy individuals through secretive arrangements – equivalent to 2.5 times more than the value of all US dollar and EURO bills and coins in circulation around the world today. That lawless wealth is a threat to countries’ democracies, economies, and to the rights and safety of their populations.
The 2022 update is set to come with its own fireworks as those countries responsible for the greatest worldwide threat of lawless wealth are revealed. With the G7 group of countries actively pursuing sanctions on Russian oligarchs, where are the obstacles to identifying the true owners – and what of the G7 themselves? Come and join us to find out at the global media launch.
This event is part of a series of online public events the Tax Justice Network is hosting that will discuss critical opportunities in 2022 to meet pressing global urgencies with global tax progress. The event series will bring together high-level policymakers, leading economists and renowned campaigners to discuss the most pivotal tax justice policy developments of 2022, how tax justice policies can be implemented and who should lead reform of the global tax system. Learn more about Tax Justice Series 2022 here.
General Director, Financial and Economic Analysis Unit, Ecuador (UAFE)
Carla Mera is a Director General of the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE) in Ecuador, with 8 years of experience in anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
Her technical skills have led her to hold important positions in the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit, as well as internationally: President Pro Tempore 2022 of the Latin American Financial Action Task Force (GAFILAT). Vice President of the Group of Experts for the Control of Money Laundering (GELAVEX) of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Director, Financial Transparency Coalition
Matti Kohonen was formally appointed FTC director in early 2021. He previously worked at Christian Aid as the Principal Advisor on the Private Sector, working to ensure that the private sector is a responsible and accountable actor in global development.
He holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where based on a nine-month ethnographic research project in Ghana he looked at the social values of social enterprises in the cocoa and IT sectors, and how value creation works beyond economic value. He has worked over 10 years also on the impact of financial and tax policies on developing countries and populations, and is a founding member of the Tax Justice Network, and author of an edited volume ‘Tax Justice: putting global inequality on the agenda’.
Matti worked for a number of years in developing country-based analysis and proposals for progressive fiscal policies. He has also been actively involved in the Financing for Development (FfD) process at the UN, mapping the role of public-private interfaces in development finance, and how established standards and norms for private finance can meet development objectives.
Interim Director, Financial Secrecy, Tax Justice Network
Director of TJN Israel (TJN IL) which is based at the College of Law and Business in Ramat-Gan. Moran completed her LL.B at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her LL.M in human rights law at University College London (UCL). She worked for several years as a tax lawyer in Tel Aviv, and has worked in the Corporate Social Responsibility field both in London and Israel.
Juan Carlos Otero
President, Financial Information Unit, Argentina
Mr. Juan Carlos Otero is a Lawyer, graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, he completed a postgraduate course on Money Laundering Prevention (School of Law and Social Sciences – UBA), which made him an expert on the subject.
Since 2001 he worked at the National Securities Commission (CNV), first as Compliance and Liaison Officer, then as Manager of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Supervision, and finally as a member of the Advisory Council of the UIF, before becoming the head of this agency. Prior to his career at the CNV, he worked for four years at the National Criminal Court No. 22, Secretariat No. 148.
He participated in the elaboration of the National Agenda for the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism 2007/2009, approved by Decree 1225/2007. He also worked on the reforms of the Capital Markets Law (Law 26.831) and the Economic Crimes Law (Law 26.733), both in the defense of Argentina before the FATF.
He represented the Argentine Republic through the CNV in the meetings of the group of supervisors held by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT), before the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing of MERCOSUR and the World Trade Organization (WTO). He is an international evaluator on behalf of GAFILAT in Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
In the academic field, he has been a lecturer in the Diploma in Money Laundering Prevention, Compliance and Risk Control at the School of Economics and Business of the National University of San Martín (UNSAM). He also taught Financial Operations and Capital Markets at the Postgraduate Course in Law of the Universidad de Palermo; and in the Executive Program on Money Laundering Prevention at the University of the Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos de Argentina (CEMA).
Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network
Alex Cobham is an economist and chief executive of the Tax Justice Network. He is also a founding member of the steering group of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and of the technical advisory group for the Fair Tax Mark. His work focuses on illicit financial flows, effective taxation for development, and inequality. He has been a researcher at Oxford University, Christian Aid, Save the Children, and the Center for Global Development, and has consulted widely, including for UNCTAD, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, DFID, and the World Bank. He recently published two books: The Uncounted (Polity Press), and Estimating Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Guide to the Data, Methodologies, and Findings, with Petr Janský (Oxford University Press, open access).
lawyer, women’s rights activist, Commissioner, ICRICT
Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida is an advocate with a masters degree in Comparative Jurisprudence from Howard University, USA. As CEO of the Uganda Women Lawyers Association from 2013 – 2018 she repositioned it as a strong force for women’s human rights, social justice and the Rule of Law, on issues such as labour, business and human rights, governance and democracy, using national, regional and international mechanisms for redress, policy change and voice.
Irene Ovonji-Odida was appointed to the AU/ UNECA High Level Panel on Illicit Financial flows from 2012-2015. She actively contributed to the process and report. She is currently a member of the Illicit Financial Flows Task Force Pan African Lawyers Union, Tax Steering Group South Centre and Independent Commission ICRICT. She is also a member of the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI).
As a regional MP in EALA from 2001 to 2006 she led initiatives for regional conflict resolution and effective oversight by African legislators in trade negotiations. From 1994-2001 she worked in key government agencies which anchored major national initiatives.
Hon. Ovonji-Odida has been a leader in civil society since 1988 in the women’s and human rights movements. She has been a member of national and international boards, and was international board chair of ActionAid International and also a member of the African Advisory Board of The ONE Foundation. She has contributed to reports and co-authored chapters in two books, on constitutionalism and women’s land rights and currently completing a chapter on Illicit Financial Flows in a book on tax justice.