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Major U.S. Bank Laundered up to $378bn for Drug Cartels

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drokhole Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:13 PM
Original message
Major U.S. Bank Laundered up to $378bn for Drug Cartels
Source: The Daily Kos, The Observer

On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else more important and far-reaching was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.

(snip)

Too-big-to-fail is a much bigger problem than you thought. We've all read damning accounts of the government saving banks from their risky subprime bets, but it turns out that the Wall Street privilege problem is far more deeply ingrained in the U.S. legal system than the simple bailouts witnessed in 2008. America's largest banks can engage in flagrantly criminal activity on a massive scale and emerge almost completely unscathed. The latest sickening example comes from Wachovia Bank: Accused of laundering $380 billion in Mexican drug cartel money, the financial behemoth is expected to emerge with nothing more than a slap on the wrist thanks to an official government policy which protects megabanks from criminal charges.

Bloomberg's Michael Smith has penned a devastating expose detailing Wachovia's drug-money operations and the government's twisted response. The bank was moving money behind literally tons of cocaine from violent drug cartels. It wasn't an accident. Internal whistleblowers at Wachovia warned that the bank was laundering drug money, higher-ups at the bank actively looked the other way in order to score bigger profits, and the U.S. government is about to let everyone involved get off scott free. The bank will not be indicted, because it is official government policy not to prosecute megabanks.

Read more: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/06/963993/-Major-...



Just when you think it can't get any worse, it turns out banks are literally getting away with murder.

Original article at The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mex...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. recommend
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. Guess the cartels didn't have to worry about monthly fees for not having a minimum balance.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is another reason why the War on Drugs is a joke.
There's way too much money to be made keeping them illegal.
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Yes
Several episodes of Miami Vice used this as their plot line.

Part of the big dance, done by TPTB, to keep the peons entertained, placated, and calm.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bah! It's nothing a fine, a bonus, and an early retirement pension cannot fix... n/t
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. More reasons why the US is soooo F'ed up! And the black market for drugs thrives
so well with the US and its inane drug policies. As usual, the US is its own worst enemy.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. criminals helping criminals...
both of them predatory...
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Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Unless you are caught with 2 grams weed, then you get locked up for 10 years.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. well, that's to feed the prison/industrial complex, don't ya know...
...and since the criminals who run society and sign police paychecks will never allow themselves to experience "detention," then it's the little folks who have to help them "make quota..."
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Amonester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. And they get away with murder because?
Because they just bought enough politicians on all sides.

It's not rocket science, really.
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drokhole Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It reminds me of when Nixon said "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal"...
...except what he meant to say was, "When a banker does it, that means that it is not illegal."
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. that would make a great bumper sticker

or s/th like:

buy 2 grams = go to jail
launder 500m for a cartel boss who ordered the deaths of thousands = extra year-end bonus for you!

not so catchy lol
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. Was it profitable? Then get out of here with your stinking "ethics."
A corporation is supposed to make money! Quit trying to infringe on the free market with your intrusive government. The "Free Market" demands you free our corporations from all laws. Legalize murder for profit!
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Frisbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. "U.S. government is about to let everyone involved get off scott free"
I doubt that. They'll probably go after the whistleblowers with everything they have.
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drokhole Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. +1! I smell Issa's next targets.
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Hestia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
12. I remember reading back in the 1990s that the entire Clinton/Wall Street
run up was due to laundered drug money. Bush 1st had changed the banking laws to reporting of $10k in deposits ($5k now) and suddenly the cartels were awash with bales of cash. I don't think there was a law of large deposits of cash with brokerage firms (though if there is please point it out!), ergo, laundrering of money and viola'! An unprecedented DOW. http://madcowprod.com Daniel Hopsicker has been trying to get this into the news for years.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
15. Time to dust off this thread from several years ago. We don't forget these things.
Tne take-home message:

Never let these crimes go unnoticed.



From Daily Kos, April 6, 2011: Major U.S. Bank Laundered up to $378bn for Drug Cartels

Highlighting this story of April 3, 2011 in the UK Guardian:

How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs


Thank you, Dan Hopsicker.


The wheels of justice grind slowly.....









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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. They need to end the insane, asinine, and dysfunctional "War on Drugs."
There was no upside for Prohibition and there's no upside to this.

The people can only be disenfranchised, their families torn asunder, while the government, police, prison industry and select corporations are corrupted from such a misguided, foolhardy policy.

Thanks for the thread, drokhole.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
19. Banks = the real crooks
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
20. RICO
Racketeering activities. Money laundering.

Pattern of racketeering activity requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed federal courts to follow the continuity-plus-relationship test in order to determine whether the facts of a specific case give rise to an established pattern. Predicate acts are related if they "have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events." (H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.) Continuity is both a closed and open ended concept, referring to either a closed period of conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_C...
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