Heads Up Money Laundering Scheme.

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    Arizona / West
    Prepaid credit cards used to move funds to Mexico, and it's legal
    By Chris McDaniel
    The Yuma Sun
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.14.2009
    advertisementSmugglers have found an easier way to export illegal funds to Mexico: prepaid credit cards.
    Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said there are currently no federal laws regulating such cards, allowing money to be laundered with incredible ease and without violating the law.
    "This trend has been around for a long time, and our anti-money-laundering program, as far as I'm concerned, is just full of holes," Goddard said. "One of the biggest holes is what we call stored-value cards. Most people think of them as gift cards, but these are gift cards on steroids. Users can put millions of dollars on them if they have a financial institution that is willing to honor them, and easily take them into Mexico."
    Goddard said most of the cards are issued by offshore banks in countries such as the Dominican Republic, the Cayman Islands and Panama.
    "I can say safely there are not many of these cards that are actually involving United States-regulated financial institutions," he said. "They are issued offshore, but loaded up in this country. These cards have a service where people can go to a 7-11 and load a certain amount of money on a card and then have it withdrawn in Mexico. There is nothing to stop them from taking that card into Mexico."
    Goddard said there is almost no accountability with these cards, because nobody sees who is doing it.
    Edited for Copyright Policy - KK

    Prepaid credit cards used to move funds to Mexico, and it's legal | www.azstarnet.com ®
     

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