Law \ Legal

Is China Aiding Latin American Drug Cartels?

A federal investigation has revealed that a Chinese-American gangster named Xizhi Li, who devised an innovative money laundering system that revolutionized the drug underworld and fortified Latin American cartels, may have been backed by Chinese government officials and the Communist Party elite, report Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg for ProPublica.

 Li and his fellow Chinese money launderers provided a bridge between drug lords wanting to get rid of dollars and a Chinese elite desperate to acquire them, according to an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/ And while China’s security forces normally tightly control and monitor its state-run economy, Li and others moved tens of millions of dollars among Chinese banks and companies with seeming impunity. The U.S. State Department estimates that $154 billion in illicit funds a year passes through China. Some U.S. officials argue that Chinese authorities have decided as a matter of policy to foster the drug trade in the Americas in order to destabilize the region.

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