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'El Chapo' and El Banco: What You Havenít Been Told
City Watch ^ | 2/28/14 | Jackson

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:12:32 AM PST by mgist

'El Chapo' and El Banco: What You Haven’t Been Told

CRIME POLITICS-US media are celebrating the arrest of alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, whose Sinaloa Cartel is thought to be the most powerful trafficker in the world and "a main combatant in a spasm of violence that has left tens of thousands dead in Mexico" (New York Times, 2/22/14).

US Attorney General Eric Holder called the arrest a "landmark achievement": "The criminal activity Guzman allegedly directed contributed to the death and destruction of millions of lives across the globe through drug addiction, violence and corruption."

But that activity wasn't conducted by Guzman alone, and another notable player appears to be missing from the current story.

In 2012, banking corporation HSBC agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for violating myriad laws by, among other things, laundering money for drug cartels, including Sinaloa.

"As a result of HSBC Bank USA's AML [anti-money laundering] failures, at least $881 million in drug trafficking proceeds–including proceeds of drug trafficking by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and the Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia–were laundered through HSBC Bank USA," reads a December 11, 2012 statement from the Department of Justice, which called the bank's failures "stunning," "astonishing" and "blatant."

Indeed, as Reuters (12/11/12) reported, based on federal court documents and prosecutors' statements:

In February 2008, Mexican authorities told the CEO of HSBC's Mexico unit that a local drug lord referred to the bank as the "place to launder money," US prosecutors said…

So rampant was the practice…that on some days drug traffickers deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars at HSBC Mexico accounts. To speed things along, the criminals even designed 'specially shaped boxes' that fit the size of teller windows at HSBC branches, according to the documents.

But while the only questions regarding Guzman's prosecution appear to be where and when, things were different when it came to prosecuting the institution that supported what Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton called "the lifeblood of their operations."

The DOJ "stopped short of indicting HSBC," as the New York Times phrased it (3/1/13) because, according to Justice Department prosecutor Lanny Breuer, there were other considerations:

Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would certainly have lost its banking license in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.

Judging by coverage, media bought that line (Extra!, 1/14).

For its part, HSBC declared itself "profoundly sorry" for "past mistakes."

Media's elision of the bank's role from current reporting on Sinoloa suggests they bought that one, too.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Mexico
KEYWORDS: 200802; 2012; 201212; 2014; bankinglicense; columbia; comey; drugcartels; elchapo; ericholder; fastandfurious; fastnfurious; guzman; holder; hsbc; hsbcbank; joaquinguzman; loera; mexico; moneylaundering; narco; nortedelvalle; nortedelvallecartel; sinaloa; sinaloacartel

1 posted on 02/28/2014 8:12:33 AM PST by mgist
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To: mgist

“For its part, HSBC declared itself “profoundly sorry” for “past mistakes.”

Yeah, sorry that they got caught. Banks just look the other way and play stupid but they know what’s up.

2 posted on 02/28/2014 8:30:55 AM PST by FAA
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Too big to jail.

3 posted on 02/28/2014 8:47:30 AM PST by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
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To: dblshot

Its like win someone is convicted of making “illegal political contributions” (read bribes) and the politician who took the money walks free.

4 posted on 02/28/2014 8:53:12 AM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: morphing libertarian

I love auto text win=when

5 posted on 02/28/2014 8:53:42 AM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: mgist

Half those in the U.S. government get their pockets stuffed as billions are funneled down by the drug trade...It’s very lucrative and excellent job security.

Just as thousands of employers count their profits on the backs of Americans as they get rich from their low wage illegal workers.

Profits regardless of consequences...

It’s all but choked off middle class private sector America.

6 posted on 02/28/2014 8:59:10 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: mgist

Then again, Uncle Sugar may just be muscling in on Guzman’s turf. . . he may need some money laundered, himself. The good uncle has a history of gun running in Mexico. Friends of Obama (Foo’s) might be carrying on some profitable business using Holder’s cover. Ignoring the law is routine with Obama and Holder now. It is not a giant leap from refusing to enforce DOMA or pursuing rampant voter fraud to using government assets to smuggle drugs and launder money. Just some thoughts. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

7 posted on 02/28/2014 9:08:34 AM PST by RatRipper (The political left are utterly evil and corrupt)
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To: RatRipper
Absolutely, you didn't think Uncle Same was arming cartels because of a social issue did you?

The Univision News investigation also found ATF offices from states besides Arizona pursued similar misguided strategies. In Florida, the weapons from Operation Castaway ended up in the hands of criminals inColombia, Honduras and Venezuela (link audio crumpler), the lead informant in the case told Univision News in a prison interview. "When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels," Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. "The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening."
Other firearms under ATF surveillance were permitted to leave the country from Texas, according to court documents and the exclusive testimony of Magdalena Avila Villalobos, the sister of an ICE agent who survived a confrontation with cartel hit men on a rural highway in Mexico on February 15, 2011. His fellow agent, Jaime Zapata, was killed during the attacks."

These cartels launder billions into their off shore tax havens, and that money finds it's way into political coiffeurs. And that is how you buy yourself a government boys and girls.

JP Morgan did it openly in Venezuela.

Do you think the regime that has NSA record German president Angela Merkel conversations has no idea what is going on? They just want to make sure she doesn't know what they are doing.

8 posted on 02/28/2014 11:30:09 AM PST by mgist (.)
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To: LS; Liz

HSBC bump

9 posted on 06/08/2017 12:09:10 AM PDT by piasa
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