May 22, 2011

Whack-a-mole: Drug smugglers seize upon prepaid cards' convenience

Those moles are just too twenty-first century!

Drug smugglers seize upon prepaid cards' convenience » Knoxville News Sentinel: "Forget bulk cash. Heavy and hard to hide, it's simply not the most convenient cross-border conveyance for a 21st-century money launderer.

A safer and increasingly attractive alternative for today's criminal is electronic cash loaded on what are called stored-value or prepaid cards. Getting them doesn't require a bank account, and many types can be used anonymously.

U.S. crimefighters consider the cards a burgeoning threat that regulators haven't adequately addressed.

In the past year, said John Tobon, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, the cards have become the preferred means of paying couriers who transport illicit drugs across the U.S."

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