Thursday, June 27, 2013


This week's story, involving the theft of $1.2m in US currency, from cargo that had arrived at JFK Airport in New York, on a Swiss Air Lines flight, is of interest to compliance, not because of the nature of the crime, but for the back story.

The currency was but a small part of a $93m sealed shipment, which originated from a yet unnamed US bank's Zurich office, and was destined for the Federal Reserve's New Jersey cash processing center, classified an an intra-bank transfer.

While routine bulk cash shipments occur every day, one wonders just how much of that ninety-three million belonged to American tax cheats, artfully laundered in Switzerland, and being repatriated, under the guise of one or more well-planned investments, by foreign entities. Obviously, as the US continues to lean on Swiss banks for information regarding their wealthy US clientele, prudent money launderers, located in Geneva, Zurich and Lugano are creating credible fronts for their customers' assets, with an eye towards investing at least some of those funds in the United States.

Good money launderers always anticipate trouble, and try to be several steps ahead of both regulators and law enforcement. Rest assured that they are fully engaged in moving their clients' wealth out of Switzerland, and what better place to invest it but America ?   

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