(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The mayor of Kabul was back at his desk the day after was sentenced to four years for corruption. Afghanistan is awash in only one kind of money these days – drug money.
One of the poorest nations on Earth exports $10 million every day in drug money, most of it right out of Kabul airport, and the world’s bankers are hooked on it like junkies. In fact, this drug money probably did more to save the world’s banking system than all the government bailouts.
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.
Remember that only a few years ago these were the same banks that were insisting that they didn’t need to be regulated. Did some of this drug money wind up being used to lobby Congress in their successful efforts to gut regulation? It’s impossible to know for certain after it had been laundered so many times.
“Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities… There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.” Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered.
The question is: how do we plan on treating a banking system with a drug (money) problem?