Monday, August 22, 2011

The Economy, Organized Crime & Money Laundering

In the midst of the global financial crisis, has anybody, economists, policy makers or politicians, ever consider that the underground financial market (organized crime--i.e. illegal arms trade, drug & human trafficking) may play a huge role in the mess that the world is in? Is it possible that our "willful blindness" is leading us to a wrong perception of the situation? Maybe the solution is IN exposing all these evils we do not want to show our innocent children... The greed of Wall Street is nothing compared to the brutal abuse and exploitation of helpless children by merciless, sadistic adults. Billions and billions of US dollars are being exchanged through the trade of human flesh and the persons being traded see not even a single penny of it. Instead, they are threatened with more abuse and death, not just their own but their families too--who may or may not have an idea of their horrible circumstances.

What I am saying is true! This is not fiction. It is happening all around the globe even in Washington DC, the capital of the mighty United States of America. It is happening right underneath our lawmakers', our judges' and even our president's noses... Even underneath most law enforcers' noses because they do not have adequate training on human trafficking (or trafficking in persons, as the US Department of State has termed it). And what is worst, the profit from the exploitation of these helpless and voiceless persons are being funneled through the world's financial systems...

Bankers may recognize the common red flags of money laundering (i.e. sequential money orders, questionable large transactions especially cash deposits under $10,000--to avoid the federally mandated Currency Transaction Report) but what about the discrepancy between account addresses and the locations of frequent deposits (as I have encountered in my banking career). This is just an example of what I have seen as a banker and there is so much more strategies that these criminals hide under the guise of clean (and so-called legitimate) business.

What I am suggesting here is maybe we should get bankers better trained on how to detect human trafficking through supposedly routine financial transactions... As bankers, you do not have to do anything but report it to authorities who have the legal right and proper means to catch these crooks and stop them from doing more inhumane evil. I speak from experience though I never did see the end results of my diligent reporting of these transactions in my nine years of banking. But I believe it had led to some substantial investigations into this illegal, evil trade...

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