Drugs and Money: Laundering Latin America's Cocaine Dollars

Synopsis

Money laundering has been around as long as there have been illicit businesses, since criminals have always had to convert their ill-gotten gains into clean financial instruments in order to utilize them in legitimate business. Grosse explores how drug traffickers turn profits from street sales of cocaine and crack into bank accounts, airplanes, securities investments, and other uses. These schemes are both creative and extensive, from shipping suitcases of dollars to Mexico, to buying gold with drug cash in California, to faking the export of clothing from Colombia to Panama. The amounts of money involved are often staggering--hundreds of millions of dollars in most cases.