US bank ruse nets drug cartel's cash
Saturday 17 December 1994
With approval from the British government the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service started "Operation Dinero" in 1992 with the aim of pretending to launder money from the Cali cartel, which produces much of the cocaine sold in the US.
Thomas Constantine, head of the DEA, said yesterday: "This is the first time we've ever gotten to the level of operating a secret offshore bank that they [the Cali cartel] felt very comfortable with." He said the operation showed the international connections of Cali, including Italian organised crime.
As a result of Operation Dinero some 58 people are under arrest in the US, Italy and Spain, including Paquale Locatelli, a leading Italian criminal who had escaped from prison in France by helicopter.
The assets seized included Picasso's Head of a Baker, Rubens' St Paul and a portrait of a man by Sir Joshua Reynolds whom agents said they were unable to indentify. The net criminal profits from the US drugs trade is put by the State Department at $20bn and is regarded by experts as unstoppable.
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 BP hit with record $18.7 billion fine over Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Worker killed by robot at Volkswagen car factory
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity is available to ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leading specialist i...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...
£27000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Their revenue and profit have g...