For six months, hundreds of Miami-Dade-based companies are under closer than usual scrutiny by financial cops.
The businesses export electronics from five ZIP codes surrounding Miami International Airport. In April, the U.S. Treasury Department's FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) bureau slapped an order on the companies to report more of their business dealings involving cash.
It's only the second time the federal agency has used this strategy in its effort to crackdown on the money laundering efforts by drug cartels and other criminal organizations. The first time targeted money laundering in the Fashion District in Los Angeles by drug cartels.
Trade-based money laundering involves complex and sophisticated networks of brokers, couriers, money launderers and criminals spanning across international boundaries, along with what can be unsuspecting exporters, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.