Prepaid credit cards used by organized crime for money laundering

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.

 

[An assessment by the U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center dated October 31, 2006, regarding Prepaid Store Value Cards reported that the cards provide an ideal money laundering instrument to anonymously move money without fear of identification or seizure.]

 

El Universal (Mexico City) 4/28/09

 

Narcotraffickers are using prepaid value cards to send money from the US to Mexico because this financial instrument is not subject to the usual measures against money laundering, according to Arizona state Attorney General Terry Goddard.  “This is something that is happening on our border, cards that are being provided by a few financial institutions, not major banks, but those that operate at a lower level,” he said during an interview.  The Prepaid Store Value Cards (as they are called in the US) are not defined as “monetary instruments” for money laundering and narcotraffic is taking advantage of that, knowing that the cards will not be inspected at the border.  All who cross the border from the US to Mexico must declare if they are transporting more than $10,000 in cash.  Such people can carry more than a million dollars in value cards and are not required to declare it because they are not breaking any law, Goddard emphasized.  In his opinion, the cards should be inspected at the border and the amount contained in them deciphered electronically.  If the cards could be regulated, it would be another blow to smugglers and narcotraffic.  “This money is the fuel that is feeding the violence,” he said.

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Arturo Mendicuti, president of the Chamber of Commerce Services and Tourism of Mexico City reported 777 million peso [56 million US] per day loss in the city’s businesses.  Hotel occupancy is the lowest in the past 16 years, between 5 and 10 percent.  The decline is attributed to the flu epidemic scare.  Restaurants, however, are operating normally.

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Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 4/28/09

 

Coordinated attacks on municipal police in Tijuana left seven officers dead and others wounded.  The attacks all happened at about 8 p.m.  Four of the police officers were killed outside an auto service business.  At about the same time, four more attacks occurred in different parts of the city in which another three policemen were killed.  The hit men even entered police outstations in their attacks.  The murders provoked an intense police operation in which four suspects were arrested.  This led to the capture of a fifth suspect who was turned over to the Mexican Army.

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In Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, the wave of violence left two more dead, raising the number of execution style murders to more than 500 since the beginning of this year.

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El Debate (Sinaloa) 4/28/09

 

Federal Police at the Tijuana airport intercepted four people smuggling packets of heroin taped to their bodies.  The packets weighed a total of nearly eight kilos.  The four, two men and two women arrived on a flight from Uruapan, Michoacán and two of them were over 70 years old.  The drug was discovered with the help of a sniffer dog.

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 -end of report-

2 Responses to “Prepaid credit cards used by organized crime for money laundering”

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