Banks and Drug Trafficking

The movement of illegal drugs is creating ever larger fortunes hand in hand with the financial system, which is used for laundering money.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Bayardo Ramírez Monagas, advisor to the Venezuelan financial system, made this comment in the thirteenth conference on Financial Supervision organized by Guatemala's Banking Regulator (SIB in Spanish) as part of his introduction to the issue of money laundering.

The expert's claims that the financial sector is becoming increasingly vulnerable to receiving drug money, particularly with profits from the production, transport and distribution of illegal drugs higher than ever. For example, each kilo of cocaine moved across the US border earns the trafficker $4,500, 30% of the products final consumer value, according to an article by Fernando Quiñónez for SigloXXI.comh.

SIB's decision to drop the maximum amount allowed for dollar purchase transactions and deposits in Guatemalan bank accounts to $3,000 is precisely aimed at preventing money laundering of dollars coming from Mexico.

More on this topic

Guatemala and El Salvador Investigate Triangulation of Dollars

October 2013

Detections have been made of cash transfers which are then returned via wire transfers and which apparently are linked to drug dealing and extortion.

The information was confirmed by the president of the Bank of Guatemala, Edgar Barquín, who explained that from Guatemala cash is exiting in dollars and going to El Salvador and then returning to the country through wire transfers.

Money Laundering in Costa Rica

March 2013

Renting hotels and low interest loans to businessman with financial problems, have joined other traditional forms of money laundering.

The latest news from the U.S. State Department on the subject, shows that profits from trafficking in cocaine and other drugs, internet gambling, financial fraud, human trafficking, corruption and smuggling, are the sources of the assets that are "cleaned" in Costa Rica ".

$4.2 billion Laundered in Costa Rica Per Year

March 2016

The figure is an estimate made by the Intelligence Directorate in Costa Rica released by the US State Department, along with information that indicates a rise in criminal organizations based in the country, and little capacity to combat them.

Money laundering is a criminal activity that handles amounts that are difficult to measure.

The Danger of Drug Money Laundering

April 2009

In the small Central American economies, the effects of the intrusion of drug money would be devastating.

Although there are increasing rumors of money laundering from the sale of drugs in the Central American financial system, the phenomenon is far from having the magnitude that it has in Mexico and Colombia.

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