Armed Mexican Cartel Entering U.S.

Armed Mexican cartel crews crossing the U.S. border is nothing new. Cartel gunmen have entered the U.S. on multiple occasions to enforce cartel edicts on suppliers as well as execute those dealers who’ve been holding back money from sales or have been identified as police informants. However, it is not only armed cartel members entering the U.S.

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Mexican Federales looking for revenge on cartel connected dealers who have killed Federales in the course of police raids, or because of drug deals gone bad, enter the U.S. on a regular basis.

The DEA is well aware of Mexican cartel and Federale penetrations across our borders. However, if these crossings are not connected to their ongoing operations they do not get involved. To be fair DEA operatives do feed crumbs of intelligence to U.S. law enforcement if it benefit’s their operations.

Cartel operations still move forward despite DHS knowledge of their activities. This the perfect illustration of the failed ‘war on drugs.’ One of the prime reasons the cartel expansion is allowed to basically spread unhindered is trans national banks who make billions laundering cartel money.

The Guardian reported in 2011:  “During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo. [1]

Authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller’s cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.

Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn – a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico’s gross national product – into dollar accounts from so-called casas de cambio (CDCs) in Mexico, currency exchange houses with which the bank did business.

Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo during the 2008 crash, just as Wells Fargo became a beneficiary of $25 billion in taxpayers’ money. Wachovia’s prosecutors were clear, however, that there was no suggestion Wells Fargo had behaved improperly; it had co-operated fully with the investigation. Mexico is the US’s third largest international trading partner and Wachovia was understandably interested in this volume of legitimate trade.

José Luis Marmolejo, who prosecuted those running one of the casas de cambio at the Mexican end, said: “Wachovia handled all the transfers. They never reported any as suspicious.”

“As early as 2004, Wachovia understood the risk,” the bank admitted in the statement of settlement with the federal government, but, “despite these warnings, Wachovia remained in the business”. There is, of course, the legitimate use of CDCs as a way into the Hispanic market. In 2005 the World Bank said that Mexico was receiving $8.1bn in remittances.

During research into the Wachovia Mexican case, the Observer obtained documents previously provided to financial regulators. It emerged that the alarm that was ignored came from, among other places, London, as a result of the diligence of one of the most important whistleblowers of our time. A man who, in a series of interviews with the Observer, adds detail to the documents, laying bare the story of how Wachovia was at the centre of one of the world’s biggest money-laundering operations.

‘Read more: [1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs

 

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