The rise of violence tied to drug and weapons trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border has brought political attention to bear on a perennial problem in the world of anti-money laundering: cash smuggling. On Thursday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and U.S. President Barack Obama said that the two countries would speed up the implementation of a $1.6 billion security agreement meant to crack down on narco-trafficking in North and Central America. Drug-related violence in Mexico accounted for over 5,000 deaths in 2008, up sharply from 2,700 deaths in 2007, according to the U.S. State Department. Under the program, known as the...
When the DOJ accused 14 in June of washing Mexican cartel money via a horse racing operation, it signified a rare feat in the drug war: a prosecution built solely on money laundering charges. Despite years of trying to choke the cash networks of Mexicans drug gangs, such cases remain the exception.
Personally letting law enforcement agents know about clients' questionable activity can be crucial to identifying money launderers, according to Hector Colon, unit chief of the Illicit Finance and Proceeds of Crime Unit of Homeland Security Investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network alerted financial institutions to look out for large deposits of small denomination bills from Mexican financial institutions using the U.S. financial industry as a conduit to launder drug proceeds.