More on Terrorist Financing and CIA Ties

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By Margaretd. Regina

Colombian “Bricks” of US Dollars used for Gold Purchase in Panama

You will hear a common theme from U.S. Government officials involved in counter-terrorism about “following the money.” The sad truth, however, is most have no clue about how to do that. When I, along with five other partners, formed BERG Associates LLC in 1998, we carved out a niche as a unique group of specialists in money laundering investigations. The star of our team, John Moynihan, is a forensic accountant who did four years with DEA running its undercover money laundering operations in New York City. I learned a lot from John. He is a certified genius in this area.

We worked on the Bank of New York Russian Money Laundering case as one of our first jobs. We investigated all the major tobacco and liquor companies for money laundering on behalf of the European Union and the Governors of Colombia. We were fortunate to have informants that worked inside major Colombian and Mexican cartels as well as a member of a Russian Clan. The photo heading this article is from one of the cases we worked in Panama. A Colombian cartel sent members to Panama with these “bricks” of dollars to purchase gold. The money was the proceeds of drug trafficking.

We briefed a group of intel analysts at the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in 2006 on how to track Mokhtar Belmokhtar by focusing on his cigarette trade. He moved a lot of Philip Morris product — Marlboro to be precise. Unfortunately, JSOC did not act on our recommendations. Belmokhtar was not stealing Philip Morris Marlboros. He was acquiring the product through a Philip Morris distributor. If you have a terrorist organization that is trafficking in cigarettes, or liquor or Toyota trucks, all you have to do is get your hands on the product and trace backwards.

Remember when ISIS was at its strongest in Syria in 2013? They were driving around in brand new Toyota pick up trucks. All that needed to be done was get the serial number off of one vehicle and work backwards. Moynihan and I briefed this to a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) officer who was given the task of “following the money.” To my knowledge he never followed up on our recommendation of how to figure out who was supplying ISIS with those trucks. They did not steal them off of a car lot.

Here is an 11 minute look at Russia’s allegation that Burisma was involved in terrorist finance. The big unanswered question is what was Cofer Black, a former senior CIA official who headed up the Counter Terrorism Center (CTC) in 2001, doing while serving on the board of Burisma and a Latvian Bank that was later implicated in possible terrorist financing? Was that just a crazy coincidence?

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