Criminals do it…

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Criminals do it…

We recently worked on a metha-amphetamine production and distribution case. Several officers were sent undercover to pose as distributors and purchase large amounts of drugs. Several other officers, in an unrelated case, ended up assisting the drug’s producer in the laundering of the proceeds of the transactions. All of the officers, though in real and great danger, executed their undercover roles with professionalism, integrity, a great deal of success, and without injury. One of the keys to their success was training, more training, and yet more training still. They were trained in the ways and lingo of the drug manufactures and distributors. They were trained about the drugs and how to test for quality, consistency, and with what the drugs may have been cut. All drug purchases begin with a sample being tested in the presence of the sellers. Further, each new batch is tested before acceptance: Distributors don’t buy drugs cut so much as to be worthless. On several occasions the drug consignments were cut, leading to a substantial reduction in the price they were willing to pay for the altered goods. This was a deliberate exercise of due diligence by the drug manufactures: If the altered goods were accepted, the manufacturers would have suspected that the cops were cops, and likely killed them on the spot. On the money laundering side, large amounts of cash were regularly handled by the drug manufacturers, and placed with a variety of middle men for laundering. As a normal exercise of due diligence, the middlemen would periodically receive counterfeit cash as part of the money to be laundered. If the money launderers weren’t technically competent they would get arrested. The drug manufacturer used the counterfeit money as a way of having law enforcement weed out the incompetents in their organization. The officers posing as money launderers told the drug manufacturer that any counterfeit money sent to them would be kept, and doubly deducted from their final payout. After two instances of counterfeit money being shipped to the officers, being detected, and being (true to their threat) double deducted, no more was sent. Criminals are risk-aversive businessmen. There are no contracts and there is no trust, hence everything must be verified upfront before a transaction is completed. Criminals don’t give front money, but always ask for it (this is a familiar theme to our readers). Validation of the goods and payment in a transaction is always done up front. Criminals will also do a substantial amount of due diligence before they ever do business with anyone: They want their suppliers and customers to be whom they say they are, and not rip-off artists or cops. Criminals do due diligence — why don’t you?

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