U.S. law enforcement officials are increasingly focusing their attention on the use by Mexican drug cartels of shell companies and corporate bank accounts in China and Hong Kong to launder proceeds from narcotics sales, sources told ACAMS moneylaundering.com. Amid the enormous volumes of wire transfers to China to pay for manufactured goods, U.S. investigators have also seen an unprecedented volume of wire transfers heading in the opposite direction-away from China-that they have managed to link to narcotics syndicates in Mexico, according to a senior member of a federal task force that engages in anti-money laundering efforts. "China is a huge...
Chinese financial institutions feature prominently among more than a hundred banks recently revealed to have knowingly or unknowingly processed billions of dollars-worth of illicit payments originating from Russia.
Mexico's partial reversal of 2010 limits on U.S. dollar deposits will make it easier for narcotics traffickers to launder drug proceeds through Mexican banks, according to current and former investigators.
The effectiveness of Hong Kong's new anti-money laundering law will hinge largely on the willingness of the jurisdiction's regulators to enforce its new powers, according to former investigators and consultants.
As an economic partner with the United States, few countries in the world compare with China. The same could be said for the quality of the nation's anti-money laundering regime, at least on paper, according to Peter Gallo, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based consultancy Pacific Risk Ltd.
The United States is likely to ramp up penalties against financial institutions and other companies that have bribed Chinese officials to gain entry into the Asian market, including business involving the Olympics, say consultants.