Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Compliance officers at North American banks who are charged with the assessment of country risk should look carefully at the situation in Honduras, now reputed to be the transit point for one-half of all cocaine shipments headed for the United States. This expansion of the illicit drug trade in the country has resulted in a major increase in the size, and power, of local organised crime groups.

 Of course, once profit is realised, through wholesale distribution in America, repatriation follows. The number of interceptions of bulk cash smugglers, with their contraband cargo, is occurring more often in Honduras.

Since money launderers generally react quickly to increased risk, it is logical to expect that they will seek alternative routes, including but not limited to, wire transfers. Given that corruption permeates both the political system, and the commercial sector, you can expect local bankers and managers of casas de cambio to cooperate in moving funds along, and into their final destinations in Panama and Colombia.

Therefore, examine carefully all large wire transfers, requests for bulk shipments of US Dollars, and transactions of import-export firms doing business with Honduran companies. It may also be prudent at this time to raise country risk on Honduras; I suggest that you do so immediately.
For further reading:
Department of State International Narcotics Control Strategy Report - Country Report Honduras 

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