Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Through the Looking Glass

It is not unlawful for a United States bank to receive funds derived from alien smuggling, fraud, racketeering, handling stolen property, contraband, environmental crimes, terrorism, drug-trafficking, trafficking in women, transport for illegal sexual activity, and slave trading--as long as the crimes are committed abroad.

Assets held offshore beyond the reach of effective taxation equal one third of total global assets--or $11 trillion, costing governments over $250 billion a year in tax revenues.

A U.S. Senate report estimated in 1999 that up to a trillion dollars is laundered through banks each year, half of it through U.S. banks. The U.S. Treasury estimates it catches one tenth of one percent of illicit funds laundered in the US.


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