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If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.
Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a "record" financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.
The banks' laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC's Mexican branches and "deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."
This bears repeating: in order to more efficiently move as much illegal money as possible into the "legitimate" banking institution HSBC, drug dealers specifically designed boxes to fit through the bank's teller windows. Tony Montana's henchmen marching dufflebags of cash into the fictional "American City Bank" in Miami was actually more subtle than what the cartels were doing when they washed their cash through one of Britain's most storied financial institutions.
After the British established Hong Kong as a colony in the aftermath of the First Opium War, merchants from other parts of the British Empire, now in Hong Kong, felt the need for a bank to finance the growing trade, through Hong Kong, and sometimes also through Shanghai, between China and British India, and the rest of the British Empire, and also the rest of Europe, of goods, produces and merchandises of all kinds, but especially of opium, cultivated in or transited (re-exported) through the Raj, and to that end, they organised amongst themselves and formed The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong (March 1865), and in Shanghai a one-month later.
HSBC was basically created as a way to move drug money around in the first place.
originally posted by: enlightenedservant
If I told you that most major cartels, powerful paramilitaries & large organized crime rings were actually "Black Ops", would you believe it? Not "Special Ops", but real Black Ops.