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Assistant Secretary John Morton to be Keynote Speaker at Joint Conference on Bulk Cash Smuggling

Mexico City, June 3, 2010 –Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton presented to a joint U.S.-Mexico working group the results of a study on the proceeds of organized criminal activity and money laundering at a conference held in Mexico City on June 2 and 3. The working group, which was formed in October 2009, aims to further efforts by DHS/ICE and the Government of Mexico to disrupt the flow of cash used to fuel criminal operations.

This groundbreaking bi-national study attempts to track the mechanisms used by criminals on both sides of the border to hide their ill-gotten gains. It demonstrates how money is transported, diverted into legitimate channels, or exchanged for goods and services. For the first time, the study quantifies important indicators of this illegal financial network.

Through the greater understanding of bulk cash smuggling and money laundering that this report affords, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) and the US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), along with a host of other U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies will be better able to collaborate in reducing the funds available to narco-cartels, thereby reducing their ability to corrupt and intimidate officials and citizens alike.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual told the conference, “Through a more precise and detailed understanding of these networks, their key players, and financial institutions, our binational law enforcement cooperation can hit the cartels right where it hurts – in their pocketbooks.”


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