"TOO BIG TO JAIL"

While Central American businesses assume the costs of the bureaucracy associated with money laundering controls, big banks are granted a license to steal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

EDITORIAL

The United States has lost the moral authority in the fight against drug trafficking, and countries who suffer in the drug war, should taken that into account.

The paltry fine imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice on the British bank HSBC and the non-prosecution of its directors-for engaging in money laundering of a criminal nature, confirms the hypocrisy of officials in the country which is the largest consumer of drugs in the world, and whose State Department claims the right to maintain lists of countries that "do not cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking" for reasons such as "not implementing sufficient control procedures for money laundering in their banking systems."

Central America not only suffers the human and economic costs of being the scene of the drug wars, but also suffers from the increased financial bureaucracy caused by money laundering controls on honest entrepreneurs, while -as seen in the case of the fine to HSBC -financial criminals who are "too big to jail" receive carte blanche to continue increasing their income by laundering dollars for organized crime.

An article in Prensa.com contains a summary of the topic, highlighting the views of former officials of the U.S. Department of Justice and other analysts, politicians and American academics.

By way of example:

"Sen. Jeff Merkley sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, in which he said that the Government 'seems to have set a strong precedent that no bank or any bank employee or executive can be prosecuted for serious criminal action if the bank is a large and important institution for the financial system '. "

Neil Barofsky, another general ex-inspector of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, argued that large banks could interpret the results of this case as a sign that they have a "license to steal".



More on this topic

Money Laundering in Central America

March 2017

The housing market, casinos, concert halls, and the livestock sector are all used to launder money in Central American countries.

Excerpted from the report "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes" by the  US State Department:

USA Denounces Money Laundering Network in Panama

May 2016

A list of people and companies involved in international money laundering includes brothers Abdul and Nidal Waked, another 6 individuals, and 68 companies, among which is Balboa Bank.

The businessmen Abdul and Nidal Waked and companies such as Grupo Wisa, Vida Panama and Balboa Bank, have been included in the "Clinton" list which indicates which people and related organizations are linked to money laundering and drug trafficking activities.

$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.

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 ".

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