Between 2008 and 2012 a group of Florida-based drug traffickers tied to a Mexican cartel laundered their dirty cash by depositing it into accounts at a local branch of a national bank. The traffickers’ Texas-based suppliers then withdrew the money from the accounts as cash and turned it over to couriers who smuggled it into Mexico.
That anecdote, included in the U.S. Treasury Department’s National Money Laundering Risk Assessment released Friday, highlights a scheme now considered to be “widely used among drug traffickers.” The Treasury report, an updated version of a document made public a decade ago, aims to help banks evaluate risk.
As the largest U.S. banks try to meet their legal obligations to avoid helping drug traffickers and other criminals launder ill-gotten gains, one of their most daunting challenges is dealing with cash deposits, especially those that people make into the accounts of others, say anti-money laundering experts.
The original article can be found at blogs.reuters.com