A few weeks ago, Justin flagged an Oregon case alleging money laundering through the Black Market Peso Exchange, one of the most successful and efficient laundering schemes in the world. The Black Market Peso Exchange is a trade-based money laundering technique commonly used by narcotics traffickers based in Colombia and Mexico. The central feature is the use of a money trader to ensure that the revenue from drug sales in the U.S. doesn’t actually cross any borders. Instead, those dollars are used to purchase any number of legitimate commodities from unsuspecting businesses on behalf of legitimate South American businesspersons whose legitimate imports are used to obtain pesos for the drug cartels.
This system involves several key advantages for the trafficker:
- Avoiding the risk of having large quantities of cash detected at international borders
- Avoiding the type of large cash deposits that trigger reporting requirements for financial institutions in many jurisdictions
- Achieving quick access to pesos