Yesterday, the authorities announced breaking up a huge drug and money laundering ring that spanned Colombia, New York, New Jersey and Florida. The feds and NYPD seized millions of dollars and over a thousand pounds of heroin, cocaine and marijuana here in the city. And the drug ring also used used auto parts as a way to launder money. From the DEA:
One of the money-laundering methods detailed in the charging documents unsealed today involved the use of Colombian drug proceeds in New York to purchase used truck parts. More specifically, a peso broker, who was based in Colombia, obtained contracts to launder Colombian drug proceeds in New York, and then worked with other defendants to collect the money on the streets. After the drug money was collected, it was transferred to another defendant, who in turn exchanged the drug proceeds for used truck parts from a scrap yard he controlled in Lindenhurst, New York, that were ultimately shipped in containers to Venezuela and Colombia and resold for pesos, it was charged.
Talk about tedious. Clearly, they didn't want to go the shopping bag or gift card route.