Current Money Laundering Trends
Drug traffickers use various methods to
launder their profits both inside and
outside of the United States. Presently,
some of the more common laundering
methods include: the Black Market Peso
Exchange, cash smuggling (couriers or
bulk cash shipments), gold purchases,
structured deposits to or withdrawals
from bank accounts, purchase of
monetary instruments (cashier's checks,
money order, traveler's checks, etc.),
wire transfers, and forms of underground
banking, particularly the Hawala system.

DEA Response to Money Laundering
Highway interdiction programs, such as
Operations Pipeline and Convoy, that
stop the bulk movement of illicit funds
are highly effective impediments to
money laundering. The DEA has also
launched major operations specifically
targeting the money-laundering
capabilities of major trafficking
organizations. For example, Operation
Juno out of the Atlanta Field Division
provided money and financial services to
launder drug proceeds obtained from
around the world. Operation Juno would
arrange to sell U.S. dollars obtained from
selling narcotics for pesos via the
Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange.
This operation concluded in December of
1999 with the arrest of 40 individuals,
$10 million in seizures, seizure of 3,601
kilograms of cocaine, and 106 grams of
hashish oil, and civil seizure warrants of
59 domestic bank accounts. This was a
significant strike against the black market
peso system. This was the first instance
Colombian authorities were able to seize
this volume of trafficker accounts based
on information obtained from a joint
investigation with U.S. law enforcement

source:  United States Drug Enforcement
Money Laundering

The International Monetary Fund
estimates money laundering, the process
drug traffickers use to introduce the
proceeds gained through the sale or
distribution of controlled substances into
the legitimate financial market, to amount
to between 2 and 5 percent of the
world's Gross Domestic Product, about
$600 billion annually. Money laundering
allows the true source of the funds
gained through the sale and distribution
of drugs to be concealed and converts
the funds into assets that appear to
have a legitimate legal source. The need
to launder conspicuously large amounts
of small-denomination bills renders the
traffickers vulnerable to law enforcement
interdiction. Tracking and intercepting
this illegal flow of drug money is an
important tool used to identify and
dismantle international drug trafficking

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