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Agent details infiltration of cartel
The Tampa Tribune ^ | 11/27/09 | ELAINE SILVESTRINI

Posted on 11/28/2009 6:17:57 AM PST by AtlasStalled

Bob Mazur won't be showing up at bookstores to sign copies of his new book. * * * Twenty-one years ago, after learning that the notorious Medellin drug cartel had sent a hit squad to kill him, Mazur had to assume a new identity and move his family from their Tampa home. * * * Mazur's book about the investigation code-named "Operation C-Chase" is a white-knuckle tale of how he gained the trust of crooked bankers and Colombian drug traffickers who would have killed him without a second thought if they knew he was one of "los feos." * * * The two-year investigation in the late 1980s helped bring down a huge international financial institution, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. The bank helped Mazur - posing as Tampa-based businessman Bob Musella - launder tens of millions of dollars for the Medellin cartel; its officers even provided guidance on sophisticated ways to make drug money look legitimate. * * * If the problem was widespread 20 years ago, it's rampant now, he says. Whether it's because of bureaucratic regulations, politics or changing priorities, he says the government doesn't seem up to the challenge of dismantling the huge underworld that trades in illicit money - cash that finances terrorists and fuels the drug trade. "There is an underground empire creating hundreds of billions of dollars a year." The U.S. government estimates that the drug trade generates $500 billion worldwide, with only about $1 billion seized by the government, Mazur says.

(Excerpt) Read more at 2.tbo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: crime; drugcartel; drugs; illegal

1 posted on 11/28/2009 6:17:58 AM PST by AtlasStalled
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