Episode 418: A Fake Bank For Money Laundering Run By The Government

Feb 13, 2019

This episode originally ran in November 2012.

Yesterday, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was found guilty of running an international drug smuggling operation. He made so much in drug proceeds that he had to smuggle the cash out of the U.S. in private planes and launder it through a bunch of front companies.

This reminded us of an episode we ran a few years ago about an operation the U.S. government undertook to try to capture people exactly like El Chapo: Drug kingpins who needed a way to store tons of heavy, bulky, space-consuming cash without getting noticed.

On today's show, we hear what happened when two U.S. agents—one IRS, one DEA—got the wild idea to create a fake offshore bank to catch drug traffickers.

Music: "Sea View Villa," "Mr. Bikinis," and "The Whole Way Home."

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.