If you are a compliance officer in Central and South America, you are duly advised to take a look at the picture above, of John Flavio Dominguez, a Panamanian national currently facing various criminal charges in the Republic of Panama, as well as civil suits there. Mr. Dominguez, who has had a long and "colourful" history of employment in the financial services industry of Panama, is reportedly involved in the wholesale distribution of prepaid stored value cards, which never contain the name of the user. Whilst he is prohibited, by court order, from leaving Panama, he could be offering these illegal cards for sale anywhere in the region.
So-called anonymous cards, which were distributed through an unlicensed financial entity in the Republic of Panama, until closed down by the Superintendent of Banking, after eighteen months of operation, are sold without any Know Your Customer and Source of Funds enquiries. These cards thus allow massive amounts of criminal proceeds to be uploaded in one jurisdiction, and then hand-carried to the world's banking centres, without leaving a paper trail, to be redeemed at banks and non-bank financial institutions.
In addition to the bulk cash smuggling pipeline, whereby private jet aircraft bring in millions of US Dollars from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico, narcotics traffickers and terrorist funding organisations are utilising these anonymous stored value cards to transport funds safely, and with little chance of law enforcement interception en route. Never download funds from any prepaid/stored value card that has not been issued by a reputable entity known to you, and which bears the embossed name of the holder and the issuance or expiration date, and the issuer's unique logo.
Anonymous prepaid cards represent the latest, and most serious threat to effective money laundering suppression, in the Western Hemisphere, and it is one that few law enforcement agencies, and fewer regulators, have been able to cope with. Avoid Mr. Dominguez, and stored value cards, please.