US banks warned to be more proactive in identifying ‘dirty money’
Wachovia Bank recently agreed to pay $160 million to settle allegations by the Treasury and Justice departments that it operated with a weak anti-money laundering regime between May 2003 and June 2008. Thanks to its lack of AML controls, Wachovia unwittingly laundered a significant amount of cocaine proceeds on behalf of Mexican casas de cambio, entities that are notorious for laundering drug proceeds smuggled across the US-Mexico frontier.
Authorities in both the United States and Mexico have publicly recognized the homeland security threat posed by this dirty cash that flows virtually unchecked across the international frontier.
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Brett Wolf, an HSToday.us correspondent, is an anti-money laundering analyst with Complinet, a London-based firm that helps financial institutions meet their compliance obligations. He has been writing about financial crime for more than a decade and holds an anti-money laundering certification from the Florida International Bankers Association and Florida International University.
Read: “US Escalating Money Laundering Probes,“ an article from Homeland Security Today.