Global Financial Integrity (GFI) has published a catalogue of how US shell companies aid and abet all manner of transnational criminal organisations.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) that researches and lobbies for actions against illicit fund flows (IFFs) points out that many of these IFFs are facilitated in the US, where beneficial ownership disclosure laws are weak by global standards.
Drugs and oil theft
Peruvian drug trafficking ring Sanchez-Paredes used anonymous companies in Florida to help launder US$31 million in drug money through US banks according to GFI.
It added that the regime of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela has stolen US$1.2 billion from the Venezuelan economy by looting the national oil company and through foreign exchange manipulation.
The proceeds from the Venezuelan schemes have been invested in real estate in Florida and luxury apartments in Manhattan, all owned through anonymous companies.
Backpage, the advertising website, became the largest marketplace in the world for buying and selling sex and was directly involved in the sex trafficking of minors, prostitution, and was implicated in seven out of every ten reported child trafficking cases in the US, GFI says.
It says the company carried out its operations through a complex network of US and international anonymous companies, starting in Delaware.
Illegal gold mining from Latin America is tied to drug-traffickers, sex trafficking, and environmental devastation, according to the NGO.
GFI says that US companies have used front anonymous companies to engage in this gold business and Miami has been the epicentre for a US$3.6 billion gold trade-based money laundering scheme.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News