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How A Big U.S. Bank Laundered Billions From Mexico's Murderous Drug Gangs

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:51 PM
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How A Big U.S. Bank Laundered Billions From Mexico's Murderous Drug Gangs
How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs
As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored

The Observer
By Ed Vulliamy
Sunday 3 April 2011



A soldier guards marijuana that is being incinerated in Tijuana,
Mexico. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AP

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.

The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.

Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year's "deferred prosecution" has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

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DeSwiss
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:53 PM
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1. And what share of banker welfare have they received? ffs. K&R n/t
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Wells Fargo.....
...got $25 billion in TARP money, and Citigroup (another drug money launderer who got caught back in the 90s -- and no one went to jail then either) got $20 billion -- which they have both since paid back.

- Of course with their drug money reserves, they should be loaning the U.S. money.....
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. The criminals belong in jail for life for their destruction of the economy for profit.
Unfreaking believable they are getting away with it. :puke:
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:54 PM
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2. That's why they won't end the war on drugs.
Too much money.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Exactly. n/t
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:55 PM
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3. The mid-size bank where I work was caught doing the same damned thing
basically we just had to pay a fine, and demonstrate that we would prevent it from happening again.

I'm sure these aren't the only two banks.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. And no one....
...goes to jail.

- Not when you're a bankster.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Nope, not even a slap on the wrist n/t
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