How much of the global economy is a washing machine for the dirty money of international crime? The filthy lucre of sophisticated groups like the Russian Mafia, La Cosa Nostra, and Colombian drug cartels approach $1.5 trillion per year. Last weekend’s U.N. Crime Summit in Sicily put human slavery as the second biggest cash cow for organized crime, after drug trafficking. And a new Clinton administration report cites alien smuggling, copyright piracy and even auto-theft as new threats to national security. Dictators and despots are getting in on the game, looting their own countries and polluting the stream of world capital.
The problem isn’t limited to underworld figures or rogue leaders. The Justice Department recently rapped the knuckles of Fortune 500 companies for their involvement in the black-market peso exchange. How many dollars in your wallet do you suppose have been washed? Globalized money laundering is this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Timothy O’Brien, former Moscow Bureau Chief of the NY Times and now with TALK magazine
Jonathan Weiner, former chief advisor on international crime for Clinton
Charles Intriago, former Federal prosecutor and currently President of Money Laundering Alert