A little story that has slipped under the radar involves American Express.  According to the July issue of Forbes, American Express has disclosed that they have set aside $60 million to fight off money laundering and was cooperating with the Justice Department.  The DEA has separately disclosed that it is their investigation that involves American Express and that it involves Black Market Exchange Accounts.

This involves a complex web of Colombian drug dealers for example providing American Cash to Colombian importers purchasing something that can readily be sold again any where in the world.  Like cigarettes.

They purchase the cigarettes from a US wholesaler and arrange through a middle man to pay in US currency.  They pay a middle man in pesos, the middle man swaps out the pesos for dollars and pays the US wholesaler in dollars.  The wholesaler makes a trip across the border to collect payment, comes back and deposits the funds in a US bank.

The middle man gives the pesos to the drug dealer.

Money Laundered

It has not yet been described how much American Express is involved in this investigation nor how they are cooperating.