Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke | | Rolling Stone
Salim Ismail stashed this in Insightful politics
I guarantee you that HSBC got a slap on the wrist specifically _BECAUSE_ the cartels were so brazen. You can't move more than $1000 into or out of an OECD country, even intrabank, without reporting it to BOTH country's tax authorities.
In other words: everybody in law enforcement watched every friggin transaction and used that data to learn what they could about the cartels' (and other foreign bad guys') very sophisticated and extensive financial networks.
I'm willing to bet freshly laundered (in my washing machine!) money that the fine was pre-planned and the prosecution only initiated once the utility of the gathered intel was exhausted.
Hm, good points Jason. (I think the threshold amount might be $10k, btw).
You're probably correct, but it was over a very long time. Do you have any insight onto the front end of things? i.e - why arrest every poor schmuck who has a joint? My cynical self says that privatized prisons are funding local law enforcement officials to do more of that.
The theory is the same as arresting prostitution Johns: cut off the demand through intimidation and potential social shame.
We're now in a strange place: most citizens favor legalization (at least of marijuana) but there are still powerful forces fighting that.