Money Launderers Found a New Tool in Prepaid Cards

21-st century money launderers have forgotten about bulk cash that is hard to hide; it is simply too inconvenient for them. They have found a rather safer way to stash money in the form of prepaid cards.

Prepaid cards are electronically loaded with cash. Moreover, getting them does not necessitate a bank account. In fact, many of these prepaid cards can be bought and used anonymously.

In the past couple of years drug dealers have increasingly used prepaid cards to pay for couriers that transport illegal drugs, said senior United States Immigration Customs Enforcement agent John Tobon. He added that the use of prepaid cards is a huge threat that regulators may have overlooked.

No one knows yet how often prepaid cards are used to move drug earnings across the U.S and Mexico borders; an estimate of at least $20 billion dollars cross the borders every year. Anyone who crosses the border carrying more than $10,000 in cash must declare it to authorities, while prepaid cards are exempted by law.

Tobon said that a lot of law enforcers all over the world give up their lives to fight drugs and money laundering; and prepaid cards are helping these people get away with it.

Furthermore, a report from the U.S. Treasury Department sited an observation that the 9/11 hijackers were identified due to bank and wire-transfers. The report further said that had they used prepaid cards, they could have very well covered their financial footprints.

Categorized | Business

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