Mexico's recent decision to ease limits on deposits of American currency has breathed new life into the illicit finance risks associated with U.S. dollar clearing operations, according to sources. In an effort to boost border trade, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto last month announced the lifting of the country's $14,000 cap on monthly dollar deposits on Mexican businesses that have operated for at least three years, can demonstrate a legitimate need for U.S. currency and agree to undergo tougher due diligence measures. Removal of the limits, which were adopted in 2010 to combat bulk cash smuggling, "reawakens" a "serious issue...
Domestic banks and U.S.-headquartered affiliates in Mexico have increased their supply of know-your-customer and transactional information to institutions in the United States under a bilateral agreement finalized last year, say sources.
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.
In response to Mexico's restrictions on U.S. dollar deposits, drug traffickers have turned to funneling dirty money through accounts opened for seemingly legitimate businesses, American officials warned Wednesday.
Armed resistance by militia groups to Mexico's violent drug cartels will complicate the efforts of bankers charged with following anti-money laundering laws, whatever their sympathies, say industry consultants.
Thousands of lightly regulated currency exchange centers in Mexico are suspected of laundering criminal proceeds for drug trafficking organizations, according to analysts and former Mexican government officials.