Both the Financial Times and the Guardian—two publications that have been voices for the recent Glass-Steagall convert faction in the City of London—published damning exposes of the global bankers ties to drug cartels in their weekend editions. Under the headline "Global banks are the financial services wing of the drug cartels," the Guardian's Washington correspondent Ed Vulliamy detailed a string of recent cases where big international banks were caught laundering billions of dollars in drug cartel money and were only given civil fines and no jail time for top executives. Vulliamy cited the Levin-Coburn Senate hearings last week and juxtaposed the kid gloves treatment given to dope bankers with the long jail sentences given to smalltime crack dealers. The Guardian piece noted that the same Mexican casa de cambio, Puebla, implicated in the HSBC money laundering from Mexico to the United States, was also involved with Wachovia Bank branches in London and Miami, in similar money laundering schemes.
Martin Woods, the whistle blower in the Wachovia case, told the Guardian that it was a scandal that no one from the bank went to jail: "These are the proceeds of murder and misery in Mexico, and of drugs sold around the world. But no one goes to jail. What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Northing. It encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars."
Vulliamy also reviewed the cases of Barclays Private Bank, which was exposed six years ago for laundering funds for Colombian cocaine cartels. The money laundering through five Medellin Cartel accounts continued even after police were tipped off to the scheme.
Coutts Banks, the Queen's own top-drawer bank, has been also caught this year laundering drug money—for which they received an 8.7 million pound sterling fine—and no criminal prosecutions. At the end of the article Vulliamy quoted from Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, the former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, who recently gave an exclusive interview to EIR. Costa told the Guardian that the four pillars of the current global banking system are: drug money laundering, sanction-busting, tax evasion and gun trafficking.
The article ended on a powerful note: "The stark truth is that the cartels' best friends are those people in pin-stripes who, after a rap on the knuckles, return to their golf in Connecticut and drinks parties in Holland Park. The notion of any dichotomy between the global criminal economy and the 'legal' one is fantasy. Worse, it is a lie. They are seamless, mutually interdependent—one and the same."
The Financial Times ran a nearly full-page expose of the Dope, Inc. banks under the headline "Taken to the cleaners," featuring a large photograph of $200 million in cash seized in a raid on the Mexico City home of Zhenli Ye Gon, an importer of precursor chemicals for Mexico's thriving illegal methamphetamine industry. While the Financial Times account lacked the punch of the Guardian's expose, author John Paul Rathbone also interviewed Dr. Costa, who candidly said, "Today I cannot think of one bank in the world that has not been penetrated by mafia money."