‘Bitcoin is Bad’ weakens the narrative as Aussie Banks allegedly laundered $385 million for drug cartels


When Aussie banks have recently laundered $385M for drug traffickers, the narrative that Bitcoin is only used by criminals weakens.

Reports have appeared showing banks in Australia operating in cahoots with militant South American cocaine cartels despite revived anti-Bitcoin remarks linked to conventional finance stakeholders. The crypto industry tends to pay for an insignificant proportion of global financial offences, amid aspersions to the contrary.

Dirty funds for drug cartels from Australian banks

According to the Australian Financial Review, South American drug cartels have allegedly laundered about 500 million Australian dollars (about $385 million) from banks in the region. The announcement comes after measures initiated in the world by law enforcement officials to dismantle the complex money-laundering system.

Details from the inquiry into the matter showed that between 2014 and 2017, Australian banks helped move over AUD 300 million. Allegedly, the banks have used dirty money from drug traffickers to buy luxury electronic goods to travel to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

According to the Australian Border Force (ABF), nine financial institutions have been involved in the matter, with seven others located outside the region. An ABF spokeswoman reflecting on the article revealed:

“The ABF is committed to protecting the Australian community by combating and disrupting criminal behaviour that exploits Australia’s cross border trade systems and has effectively disrupted the Australian-based money laundering operations of the entities.”

The announcement that Aussie banks are helping illegal organisations launder money is coming on the heels of some banks’ reported unfair actions against crypto traders and exchanges. A Bitcoin exchange owner recently took legal action against two banks to close his accounts, as previously stated by CryptoPotato.

Banks Cleaning Abuse Proceeds

Leaked papers from the U.S. back in 2019. Major money laundering deals by banks is uncovered by the Financial Crimes Monitoring Network (FinCEN). The dossier at the time revealed big American banks funneling dirty money to numerous criminal groups for over $2 trillion.

Indeed, for fraudulent activities ranging from money laundering to spoofing, U.S. banks have to pay big penalties. U.S. authorities have fined Wells Fargo over $3 billion in 2020 for numerous illegalities over a 15-year period.

Interestingly, a large number of Wells Fargo stocks are owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. It is perhaps ironic that while Wells Fargo appears to have supported transactions associated with illicit activity, Buffett advocates anti-Bitcoin rhetoric linked to illegality.


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