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Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
June 2007

Illicit Finance

Mexican DTOs regularly transport proceeds from wholesale drug transactions in other regions of the United States to the HIDTA region, where they are often combined with proceeds generated from wholesale transactions in the region. The Mexican DTOs then bulk-transport the proceeds to Mexico for repatriation.1 Asian DTOs also aggregate drug proceeds in the region and typically transport the proceeds in bulk to Canada; Asian DTOs also transfer illicit drug proceeds by electronic wire transfer. Proceeds generated from midlevel and retail sales within the HIDTA region are typically laundered by traffickers through wire remittance services, money services businesses, structured bank transactions, cash intensive "front" businesses, the purchase of tangible assets, and real estate fraud.

End Note

1. Each year Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers operating in the United States bulk-smuggle billions of U.S. dollars into Mexico. Repatriation--the return of these dollars to their country of origin (the United States)--is often an important part of the money laundering process for these traffickers. Repatriation of these funds is beneficial to Mexican and Colombian traffickers because it simplifies the placement of funds into the U.S. financial system.

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