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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
agencies.

source:  United States Drug Enforcement Administration
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 organizations.
Money
Laundering

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