Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Aaron Castro, a Denver trafficker of methedrine, sentenced this week to serve forty five years for his crimes, had a somewhat unique way of laundering his narcoprofits. He bought extremely rare comic books, such as the first issues of Superman and Batman, with his money. Whilst you may think this in and of itself is comical, let me explain.

What's the test of a satisfactory subject for a money launderer ?  Any item that:

(1)  Has value.
(2)  Is marketable.
(3)  Changes hands mainly for cash,
(4)  Whose dealers and collectors rarely keep records.
(5)  Is easily concealable and transportable.
(6)  Whose value cannot be easily ascertained by non-experts.
(7)  Hopefully appreciates in value.

Now you may understand why antiques and fine art make great investments for laundrymen, and why I have always directed US law enforcement to attend the annual Latin American Art auctions, in New York, at Christie's and Sotheby's. One can roll up a multi-million dollar canvas, toss it in the boot of your automobile, and take it anywhere in the world. Who, when looking at it, will understand its value, save art dealers and experts ?

For the record, the value of the small amount of rare comic book editions seized when Mr. Castro was arrested: $500,000. I wonder where the other copies were.

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