The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) stated in its most recent report that digital assets have become a lucrative financial instrument for several Mexican and Colombian gangs.
The CIA described how those gangs use cryptocurrency in their operations. To escape controls, the drug revenues are first divided into small installments. The cartels then use the money to acquire modest amounts of bitcoin,
“obscuring the source of the money and allowing them to pay associates around the world.”
Jalisco New Generation Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel are two of the criminal organizations listed. The latter is one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations.
It was in operation for decades by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is presently serving a life term in a federal prison in the United States.
According to the UNODC, organized criminal groups in both Mexico and Colombia are
“growing their use of virtual money due to the secrecy and speed of transactions.”
It’s worth mentioning, however, that the blockchain of bitcoin is completely transparent, with all transactions recorded on the digital ledger. As a result, anyone with Internet access can view them.
Having said that, the nature of BTC makes it a very suspect instrument for those attempting to facilitate unlawful financial activities.
Cash, on the other hand, is still the most popular payment method in dirty money transactions. Such as, prostitution, firearm purchases, and drug purchases.
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