Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Cocaine Boom in Europe Fuels Euro Laundering
A cocaine boom in Europe and the continent's strong currency have combined to fuel a thriving industry: euro laundering.
With the euro approaching $1.50 and soaring demand for cocaine in countries like Spain and Italy, Europe has become a far more lucrative place to do business for Latin American drug cartels than in previous years.
To obscure the origins of the funds, and escape government scrutiny in the process, the cartels use a complex system to launder their proceeds -- much of which is landing on U.S. shores.
In late March, U.S. authorities arrested a man carrying a leather duffel bag who had just landed at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Santiago, Chile. Inside the bag was more than $1.9 million in cash, mostly in bundles of €500 and €200 notes. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120044304824892769.html?mod=hps_us_pageone
Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent"