Wachovia's Drug Habit

The bank, now a unit of Wells Fargo, leads a list of firms that have moved dirty money for Mexico’s narcotics cartels–helping a $39 billion trade that has killed more than 22,000 people since 2006.

 

“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy,” says Martin Woods, director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia’s branch network.

“If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you’re missing the point,” Woods says.

Wachovia is just one of the U.S. and European banks that have been used for drug money laundering. For the past two decades, Latin American drug traffickers have gone to U.S. banks to cleanse their dirty cash, says Paul Campo, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s financial crimes unit.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-07/wachovia-s-drug-habit.html

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