Banks shown to launder billions in drug money
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Observer (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: April 12th, 2011
During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others [beginning in 2006], it emerged [that drug cartels had laundered huge sums of money] through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo. 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. The bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico's gross national product into dollar accounts from ... currency exchange houses with which the bank did business. [The case demonstrates] the role of the "legal" banking sector in swilling hundreds of billions of dollars the blood money from the murderous drug trade in Mexico and other places in the world around their global operations, now bailed out by the taxpayer. At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to banks on the brink of collapse. "Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade," he said. "There were signs that some banks were rescued that way."
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the illegal activities routinely engaged in by the largest banks and financial corporations, click here.