Identifying Trade-Based Money Laundering Risk Using Public Data: An Analysis of the Nader Farhat Network in Paraguay and the U.S.

Trade-based money laundering (TBML) remains one of the most viable ways for criminals to slip under the radar and move illicit value across borders undetected.

The sheer volume of global trade and corresponding transactions, plus increasingly complex global supply chains, make TBML activity difficult to identify and investigate.. Financial institutions in particular often lack the visibility into trade transactions that they need to detect TBML risk. Fortunately, there is a lot of public data available we can use to address these challenges and uncover TBML networks.

In this report, we dissect an ongoing investigation into a Paraguay-based currency exchange operator that has been charged with several money laundering- related crimes. The scheme allegedly involves a network of New York and Florida-based electronics companies that have facilitated TBML on behalf of drug traffickers in the United States.

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