A European bank has been caught laundering money for the Mexican drug trade, and trying to cover it up.
Rabobank has been fined $369 million by the U.S. government after admitting it handled millions in illicit funds.
The Dutch bank allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in “untraceable cash” to be deposited at its rural bank branches in California and then withdrawn via wire transfers, checks, and cash transactions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The bank also pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation in an attempt to avoid the repeat of sanctions it received in 2006 and 2008 for “nearly identical failures,” the DOJ added.
“When Rabobank learned that substantial numbers of its customers’ transactions were indicative of international narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering activities, it chose to look the other way and to cover up deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan said.