Money laundering and corruption: It takes two to tango

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[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Robert Mazur, author of “The Infiltrator”, spent five years working undercover for US customs, and was instrumental in bringing down Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel. He gives and inside view of international money laundering. He gave a presentation on banking fraud, the audio of which can be accessed (click here) at $6.95/month subscription. Extract from the analysis of this presentation is given below.[/box]

During his time undercover Mazur recorded more than 1,200 conversations with drug dealers and banking executives. Many of the conversations he had on the banking side involved the bankers trying to solicit his black market business.

The bank Mazur just randomly picked? The Bank of Credit and Commerce International, what was then the seventh largest bank in the world with more than 500 branches in 72 countries.

According to Mazur, BCCI was the crossroads of the biggest drug traffickers in the world, politicians everywhere, and members of the intelligence community as well. His financial adviser at BCCI was a man who’s father was previously the head of the ISI in Pakistan. The bank itself was owned in part by the former head of Saudi intelligence. And it was openly discussed with him that the bank was being used by the CIA to move money to the Mujahideen to fight the Russians in Afghanistan.

During debriefing after their arrests, BCCI executives said they couldn’t understand why they were being singled out because they weren’t doing anything different than anyone else in the international banking community…

n the past, if you were caught laundering money you were arrested and sent to jail. But now the government offers banks the option of “deferred prosecution” which basically means the bank gets a slap on the wrist, the government watches all their transactions for a year or so, and if they behave they just have to pay a fine and that’s it. And nobody ever goes to jail…

So everyone benefits. The drug dealers make their money, the banks make theirs, and the government gets paid off in the process. Meanwhile, drugs are still flowing freely into the United States. No harm, no foul, you might say, because it doesn’t effect you personally. But it does when that dirty money is used to finance terrorist activity.

Link to the detailed story: click here