13 arrested for alleged black market peso laundering

By Christine Duhaime | December 3rd, 2010

Thirteen individuals were arrested in Puerto Rico by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security  for allegedly attempting to launder US$8 million in drug trafficking proceeds.

The defendants are accused of laundering the funds using a money laundering method known as “black market peso exchange.” A black market peso exchange system involves the placement of substantial amounts of U.S. currency from narcotic sales, or other illegal activities, with peso exchangers who place the currency in U.S. bank accounts. The exchangers then sell monetary instruments drawn on the bank accounts to importers who use the funds to buy foreign goods. To avoid the reporting requirements under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, several bank accounts may be opened that are ultimately controlled by the peso exchanger.

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