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Indicadores: transacciones en efectivo a gran escala

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Indicadores: transacciones en efectivo a gran escala





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Indicadores: transacciones en efectivo a gran escala.

Within a South American country Orlando was the leader of a well-es tablished criminal organisation, which had been involved in trafficking cocaine products from neighbouring countries to Europe for a number of years. The operation was closely managed and coordinated by Orlando from sta rt to finish. Orlando and the other key individual within

the o r g a n i sation were all known criminals with criminal records in both Orlando’s home country and abroad, dating back to at least 1969.


In order to carry out his activities, Orlando recruited a number of his closest relatives, along with other criminals, to create a self contained criminal organisation under his sole command. The close family ties and interdependence made infiltration by undercover law enforcement operatives difficult in the extreme. His eldest son, Tr i s tam, was res p o n s i b l e

for organising drug shipments within the neighbouring country. Tr i s tam sent the drugs from the country overland to a third American country, where they were stored pending the decision of the representative of the organisation in that country regarding their shipment.


Once Tr i s tam had informed his father in his home country that the drugs had arrived, the person in charge of operations helped to plan the shipment of the drugs to Europe. I n the country from where the shipment was due to take place, Tristam used another criminal organisation for the hiring of the crew and obtaining of the neces sary shipping ves s e l s . I t is worth noting that all drug shipments to Europe were ordered directly by Orlando in his home country and that all payments for the smuggling operation were made with money that he supplied.


Orlando used different individuals to transport the money needed to make these payments and the payments required for shipping the drugs from the main harbour to three other American harbours. Some of these couriers already had prison and police records, for both ordinary crimes and for drug trafficking-related crimes in Orlando’s home country and abroad.


Once the drugs reached Europe, there was a group of criminals whose role it was to hire individual workers to off-load the drugs; such workers tended to be personnel from the two European ports where the drugs arrived. Th ese people were under supervision of a specific criminal who was wholly responsible for this part of the operation. After the drugs were off-loaded, another group of traffickers, who also received orders directly from Orlando, took part in the receipt and sale of the cocaine shipments to the European organisa t i o n s

that in turn took charge of distributing them.


The proceeds from the sale of the drugs, which were sold for approximately US$30,000, were transferred in part in cash shipments to Orlando’s home country and the rest deposited in cash in anonymous numbered bank accounts belonging to himself, his wife, Angelica, and Tr i s ta m .


The facts

This case sta rted on 29 December 1996, when Orlando’s criminal organisation dispatched from a port in an American country a shipment of 52 kg of cocaine chlorohydrate on a vessel bound for a port in Europe. The drugs were dispatched under the responsibility of two men who travelled from Orlando’s home country to the port from where the drugs were shipped. There, another member of the organisation made the neces sary contacts at the port for hiring a ship and a crew for transporting the drugs to Europe. La t e r, two other criminals travelled to Europe to take delivery of the shipment and to pay for the transport of the drugs and for the team in charge of off-loading the drugs from the vessel. La w enforcement co-ordination was such that the authorities in the European country were able to report the seizure of the drugs and the arrest of two citizens of Orlando’s home country.


Money Laundering

With regards to the laundering of the profits generated by the drug trafficking activities, significant sums of cash were transported back into the country and deposited into bank accounts belonging to Orlando and his close relatives. Orlando had already tried to explain the funds by claiming links to the sale of property that he supposedly owned in another

America country, but false paperwork for the scale of funds that he was now seeking to move was unfeasible. A new laundering process was sta rted in 1988 with Orlando’s organisation sending back at least US$4,600,000 through wire transfers. The anonymous nature of the t r a n sactions - which were kept at individually low amounts - protected the laundering operation from law enforcement interest. This money was intended for the purchase of personal property and real es tate, including vehicles, apartments, a shopping mall, thoroughbred horses, and money placed in long-term inves t m e n ts and in safe deposit boxes .


In addition, as the FIU had discovered, the profits from drug trafficking were deposited in various accounts that the organisation maintained in a bank in Europe. Indeed, with

a view to concealing their investments, they had opened anonymous numbered investment accounts in the European country, with Orlando and Tristam as signatories. Tristam in turn administered, through his children and wife, other parallel accounts, which he controlled independently. Furthermore, with the participation of Angelica they made use of a Foundation, legally registered in a small Central European country, which was in turn represented by another legal entity in order to conceal the illegal profits in secret investment accounts also held in a European bank.


At time of writing, a total of approximately US$14,600,000 had been seized as a res u l t of the international co-operation furnished by the law enforcement and judicial authorities in the European country, including details of all the ‘anonymous’ bank accounts, which made it possible to freezes the bank accounts by use of rogatory letters.


All the identified members of Orlando’s criminal organisation, many of whom have already been in custody for more than three years, are now being tried for conspiracy to commit drug trafficking. The only exceptions are Angelica, who is being tried for the crime of money laundering and Tr i s tam, who is on trial for both laundering and drugs trafficking offences .

In addition, Orlando himself died in prison following his conviction for both drug trafficking and money laundering.


I n d i ca t o r s :

Large - scale cash transactions.


79

David era propietario de una casa de cambio, en un país al este de Europa y un cliente frecuente del banco local. Cada vez que depositaba efectivo en la cuenta de la compañía, decía al empleado del banco que el dinero se originaba de los clientes que pagaban préstamos a corto plazo. Debido al alto nivel de depósitos en efectivo (más de US$65,000), hechos en un período corto, el empleado del banco empezó a sospechar. Después de examinar las actividades de cuentas en negocios similares de la localidad, para determinar si las cantidades eran comunes para ese tipo de negocios, el banco informó a la UIF nacional.


Al revisar los detalles de la compañía, contra bases de datos de las autoridades, la UIF descubrió que la casa de cambio no estaba registrada para pago de impuestos, lo que se estimaba ascendía a unos US$400,000 por año, según la información disponible. La casa de cambio de una forma ficticia, también había requerido servicios de compañías extranjeras, situadas en un país vecino, proveyendo servicios de consultoría, mercadeo e ingeniería. Las facturas eran correctas, pero los servicios nunca se prestaron. Con base en los contratos ficticios, la casa de cambio había transferido fondos a un país vecino. La UIF remitió la información y el análisis financiero a la oficina del fiscal, resaltando las sospechas de evasión de impuestos y actividades fraudulentas.


La policía financiera comprobó la cantidad de impuestos, que la casa de cambio, debió pagar y congeló todos los fondos antes de confiscarlos. Pero David ya había transferido casi todos los fondos de la compañía, al país vecino y se había declarado en bancarrota en el primer país. La policía financiera pidió a la UIF rastrear el dinero. La UIF solicitó información a la unidad de inteligencia del país vecino. No sólo se aclaró donde estaba el dinero, si no que David era dueño de todas las compañías extranjeras que enviaban las facturas ficticias. Una de estas compañías había recibido todo el dinero transferido al país. David había retirado la mitad del dinero en efectivo y la otra mitad la transfirió a cuentas bancarias del primer país. Creyó que al utilizar efectivo, las posibilidades de que las autoridades rastrearan el dinero, habían disminuido.


Al momento de reportar el caso a los fiscales de ambos países, se hacían arreglos para procesarlo por varios delitos, incluyendo fraude, evasión fiscal, falsificación de documentos, abuso de autoridad, del tipo de compañía y de las leyes que regulan los negocios en bancarrota.


Indicadores: cambios ilógicos en un negocio – transacciones en efectivo a gran escala – uso de “pagos de préstamo no oficiales” como explicación para el origen de los fondos – trasferencias de fondos atípicas o antieconómicas, provenientes de otro país.

David was the owner of an exchange office in an Eastern European country, and a frequent customer of the local bank. Every time he deposited cash into the company account, he told the bank employee that the money originated from customers repaying short-term loans back to the business. Because of the high level of cash deposits - over US$65,000 – made in a short period, the bank employee became suspicious. After examining the account a c t i v i t i es of similar types of business in the locality to determine whether the amounts were typical for a currency exchange firm, the bank informed the national FIU .


By checking the company details against law enforcement data bases, the FIU discovered that the exchange office was not registered for ta x es, which were estimated to be some US$400,000 per annum on the information available. The exchange office had also fictitiously ordered services from foreign companies situated in a neighbouring country providing consultation, marketing and engineering services. The invoices were properly drawn up but the services were never actually delivered. Based on these fictitious contracts, the exchange office had transferred funds to the neighbouring country. The FIU forwarded the disclosure and associated financial analysis to the public prosecutor’s office, highlighting a suspicion of tax evasion and fraudulent activities .

The financial police ascertained the amount of ta x es the exchange office should have paid, and applied to have all funds frozen prior to confiscation. But David had already transferred almost all company funds to the neighbouring country and filed a request for bankruptcy

in the first country. The financial police asked the FIU to trace the money. The FIU sent a n intelligence request to the FIU in the neighbouring country. It not only became clear where the money was, but also that David owned all the foreign companies that had been submitting the fictitious invoices. One of these companies had received the bulk of the money transferred into the country. David had taken out half of the amount in cash, and transferred the other half back to accounts in the first country. He had believed that by using cash, the chances of the authorities tracing the funds back to the source activity were minimised.

At the time of reporting prosecutors in both countries were arranging for David’s prosecution for a range of offences including fraud, tax evasion, counterfeit documents, abuse of office and authority, and breach of bankruptcy regulations.


I n d i ca t o r s :

Unrealistic business turnover

Large - scale cash transa c t i o n s

Use of ‘unofficial loan repayments’ as a cover story for funds

Atypical or uneconomical fund transfer to or from foreign jurisdiction.



80

Tres individuos originarios de países asiáticos, tenían cuentas de moneda extranjera en un banco de un país al este de Europa. Grandes cantidades de fondos se transferían frecuentemente de esas a otras cuentas en países off shore; en menos de dos años las sumas ascendieron a US$2,500,000. El dinero ingresaba a las cuentas en grandes depósitos en efectivo, por medio de los cajeros de los bancos. Los tres clientes explicaron al banco que los fondos se estaban repatriando, para el beneficio de sus familias en sus países natales. El origen del dinero era, sin embargo, confuso a pesar de los requerimientos corteses del banco. La preocupación del banco, sobre el origen de los fondos aumentaba y decidieron informar a la UIF nacional.


La UIF pidió información a la policía sobre los individuos y las compañías involucradas en las transacciones. Las averiguaciones revelaron que no existía información registrada en las bases de datos de la policía, respecto a ninguno de los sujetos. Las averiguaciones con las autoridades fiscales, produjeron más información; cada uno de los tres individuos controlaba varios negocios, pero ninguno de ellos parecía rentable. La UIF sospechaba que las transferencias hechas por los hombres asiáticos, podían estar relacionadas con la poca rentabilidad de las actividades de los negocios. Si estaban enviando el dinero a otro país, en lugar de moverlo entre las cuentas de las compañías, las ganancias anuales y por consiguiente las del período fiscal, bajarían bastante. Aunque este no fuera el caso, el recolectar grandes cantidades de dinero en efectivo y luego transferirlas a otro país, era un método reconocido de lavado de dinero, proveniente de tráfico de drogas y otras actividades criminales.


La UIF remitió su análisis a la policía. Al momento de escribir este documento, el caso permanecía en la unidad de investigación policíaca, a pesar de que esperaban más información de las autoridades en los países asiáticos.



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