Friday, December 03, 2010

Drug Dealers are Laundering Money by Sending Salvage and Stolen Cars to the Middle East and Europe for Resale and Guess who Profits.

A used car dealer in the Sarasota -Tampa Fl area buys a late model "salvage" high performance Ford Mustang from the Coparts online weekly auction for $3,500, the car has serious front end damage and the title is issued as "salvage only".  The used car dealer does repairs as needed, $7,500, to put the high performance Ford Mustang "salvage" vehicle back on the road, but of course no one will by such a car.  The used car dealer will then have the high performance Ford Mustang shipped out of the Port of Tampa to Dubai UAE where it is re-papered and then shipped to England (London) for resale, shipping charge $1,500, total cost $12,500. 

In England (London) late model high performance Ford Mustangs are in big demand and can bring in as much as $32,500, so by subtracting your initial cost of $12,500 you net $20,000, the kicker is that all the costs are paid by drug money and you have now efficiently laundered your drug money and moved it out of the USA and made a $20,000 profit in the process, now multiply this by 5 vehicles a month and just one little ol' used car dealer is pulling down $100,000 a month in profit and laudering $62,500 in drug money, neat.

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)--Volume II: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an important financial center in the Gulf region. Dubai, in particular, is a major international banking and trading center.

Money laundering vulnerabilities in the UAE include hawala, trade fraud, smuggling stolen cars, the real estate sector, the misuse of the international gold and diamond trade, the misuse of shell companies and the use of UAE-based companies to assist in transactions that violate U.S. and/or U.N sanctions. Reportedly, the UAE is used as a financial center by pirate networks operating off the coast of Somalia and for corrupt officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

In June 2009, a Dutch suspect was arrested in Dubai for suspected involvement in international money laundering, reportedly based on an Interpol request. The accused, who was looking to open a commercial company in a UAE free trade zone, was suspected of being part of a European gang involved in stolen cars and drug trafficking and of supplying South American narcotics to European countries and South Africa. Dubai Police also reported the disruption of a narcotics-related international money laundering operation worth $28 billion.  There is no mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and the UAE, which has historically prevented timely UAE compliance with US investigative requests in financial crimes cases.

Testimony of Steven Emerson Before the United States Senate Committee of Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.   U.S.-based operatives of terrorist groups have increasingly turned to standard criminal endeavors such as drug trafficking, organized retail theft, black market smuggling and car theft rings in order to raise money to fund training and operations. Illegal drug trafficking ontinues to he a source of income for various terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

What if Al Qaeda has found a new method to launder money around the world? In his July 5, 2005 testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, terrorism expert Steven Emerson made a chilling prophecy. He said that he would not be surprised someday to find an international network of stolen car rings raising money for terrorism, and shipping cars to the Middle East to be made into car bombs.  Steve Emerson did not know that Bill Warner, a Florida Private Investigator had been secretly working on this issue since 2002. Bill Warner has uncovered documentary evidence that stolen cars from Florida were being shipped to Al Qaeda front companies in Dubai, U.A.E., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Aqqaba, Jordan. Furthermore, Bill Warner claims that he has provided Federal agencies with a “smoking gun” document; a copy of the bill of lading from a Tampa used car lot shipping a vehicle directly to what appears to be an Al Qaeda front company in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. Even more embarrassing to the FBI, Warner showed the federal agents that the suspected used car lots in Florida all had a common link: these used car lots were directly linked to convicted terrorist Sami Al Arian or run by one of his associates.
Dubai (UAE), China, Japan, and Germany are the main sources of imported goods for Afghan drug traders, while cities in Pakistan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia are the main transaction centers for the Afghan hawala markets. Dubai operates as the central "clearing house" for transactions.

Major financial centers further afield, such as London and New York, host fewer hawaladars but are responsible for sending some of the largest amounts of money related to drugs. Although most drug hawaladars in Kandahar and Helmand identified London as their main source of drug orders, the payments are often routed to Afghan partners in UAE and Pakistan, where the money is reinvested or used to settle other transactions.  

Afghan hawala businesses make use of corresponding Pakistani networks, which often have greater reach in countries such as the UK.   While there is a wide range of imports brought into Afghanistan, ranging from fuel to fast-moving consumer goods, car imports consistently arose as a major commodity often traded with drugs.

Four brothers at the top-end of a hawala (drug) business in Kandahar revealed that they transfer or exchange approximately US$ 350,000 per day in the shop, and that most drug transfers are sent to Chaghcharan in Ghor province, Uruzgan, and Helmand. During the peak times, over US$ 10 million of drug-related funds and legitimate trade transfers are facilitated monthly. The informants reported that Turkish drug traffickers deposit the payment into their Dubai bank account, out of which they can then buy commodities (vehicles) to import into the country. However, the money is reported to originate in Western Europe, mainly the United Kingdom which has a sizable heroin addiction problem.

Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota Fl.