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Derek Maltz: China ‘dominating the money laundering business in America for the cartels’

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Former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division Derek Maltz on Monday claimed that the Chinese “are dominating the money-laundering services business in America for the cartels”.

In an appearance on “The Sara Carter Show” podcast, Maltz and host Sara Carter discussed security issues surrounding the deteriorating situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, when the conversation shifted toward the Chinese government.

“The Chinese now are dominating the money-laundering services business in America for the cartels,” Maltz charged, arguing that they are “picking up the cash and they are moving money from one Chinese bank account to another on their smartphones”.

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“We can’t do much about that,” Maltz continued. “They’re using encrypted apps, and they’re moving money, and then they’re buying consumer goods over in China, they’re shipping the goods into South America or Mexico—wherever—and they’re selling the goods, and everybody’s making money. And the poor law enforcement is in the dark because the laws are so antiquated. And these are […] countries around the world that are making a lot of money off the drug problem in America.”

Furthermore, Maltz went on to claim that “They have Chinese nationals—young kids—running around the country picking up millions of dollars, they give it to businessmen and Chinese businessmen in the U.S. because there’s an export limit of $50,000 a year out of Beijing, so they need cash here to buy houses, to buy property, […] to put their kids in school. So they pay cash.”

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Maltz then alleged that they are also “buying real estate all over the country” and installing “state-of-the-art marijuana grow[ing] operations in these houses. And they’re selling this very pure THC—very high purity pot—around America. So they’re buying houses with drug money in cash, then they’re selling the drugs all over the country. So again, they’re destabilizing the country by pushing massive amounts of drugs and providing a service to the cartels.”

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“Last thing: if the cartels do not have their money, and they do not have their chemicals, they can’t produce the drugs. So what are we waiting for? Why are we not hitting these labs? Why are we not stopping the money? Why are we not dealing with this?” Maltz concluded. “It’s got to be put on steroids, we have to have a state of emergency here for law enforcement to go after this problem because kids are dying at record levels.”

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You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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