Homes in Beverly Hills purchased with embezzled money by Kuwaiti officials. A skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan controlled by the Iranian government. Real estate investments from a boutique firm that received millions of dollars from Colombian drug cartels.

The Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan, New York was one of the properties purchased by a real estate investment firm partnered with Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who laundered more than US$4 billion from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. (Photo: Park Lane Hotel, Wikimedia)All three examples are cited by a newly released report by Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based think tank, which describes how dirty money has flowed through U.S. real estate, a sector that has proven popular for kleptocrats, criminals, and corrupt government officials to stash illicit funds.

The report stressed the need for more robust and targeted regulations and reform of current practices in…

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