Mexican cartels launder around 25 billion dollars a year, according to a report released today by a UN body responsible for ensuring compliance with international drug treaties.
The International Narcotics Control Board ( INCB ) released its annual report this Thursday in Vienna, where it analyzes the flows of illicit money for criminal activities.
“It is believed that, in Mexico alone, Mexican cartels launder some 25 billion dollars a year,” the report says, noting that criminal groups are increasingly using cryptocurrencies and other opaque digital tools to avoid being tracked.
“The use of bitcoin to launder money is on the rise, especially among drug gangs such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, according to authorities in Mexico and the United States,” the INCB indicates.
In order not to exceed the threshold of banking operations that set off alarms – $7,500 – criminals often divide illegal funds into small amounts that are deposited in several bank accounts.
They then use those accounts to make purchases of small amounts of bitcoin, allowing them to disguise the origin of the money and pay their collaborators in other parts of the world, the report says.
The INCB demands that profits from drug trafficking be reduced to a minimum and, to this end, calls for more financial transparency on an international scale, stricter legislation against money laundering, and better international cooperation.
Along these lines, the report points out its concern about a whole series of new opaque financial instruments that make it difficult to trace the origin of illicit money.
The INCB notes that Mexico remains the main source of heroin and methamphetamine for the United States and was also the main transit country for cocaine from South America.
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