Knock the crap

A former employee of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Robert Mazur tells the story of an undercover agent, money laundering and false wedding.

Knock the crap


To work under the guise of preparing me for a long time. There is a special institution where he teaches former federal agents who have worked successfully in the past under the guise of, for example, Joseph Pistone of "Donnie Brasco" (Michael Newell film based on the true story of FBI embedded in the mafia gang). More important than all the staff were psychologists. Even at the earliest stages of their duty it was to evaluate agents and weed out those who are prone to unnecessary risk and may be subject to the Stockholm Syndrome. I knew "moles" who became a victim when long worked undercover and eventually imbued with sympathy for the criminals.

Our coaches believed that every man has to create for himself a false identity: to get the child's birth, who died in infancy, and gradually, year and a half, to build on it its history. Of course, it required of us the ability to deal with different techniques: for example, not only set the bugs, but also to correct minor damage - there is no tech support call up. In addition, we explain how to hide the evidence. For example, to make false vents, where you can leave and cassettes with recordings of conversations and documents.

The point the BCCI

I got a copy of the birth certificate of the deceased child, the name of Robert Musella. It was important that my name is the same, because otherwise you may inadvertently respond to the present. The tax service has helped me with a social security number, which is almost the same as my own - is also important, in number, you can determine the place and date of issue. I had friends in the banks, which have opened for me a few bills, where I put my own money, and then through certificates of deposit taking from yourself credit. So I lined up my new credit history. By the time I had finished creating their own legend, I "worked" Investment Mortgage Fund, charter airlines, online jewelry stores, and brokerage firm. This is a guarantee of two informants a crime families of New York made me in the eyes of criminals reliable person. Drug dealers are constantly looking for business people who are not averse to money laundering.

At first I with anybody did not meet in person, and then found out that I want to meet with representatives of the Medellin drug cartel. I met with their "broker" - Gonzalo Mora. He was full of ties, but to launder money he could not. I offered to help him, but made it a condition that I would invest the money in some projects, so as not to attract the attention of the feds. Then Mora called me and complained that it was difficult to persuade their customers. I say, "You just do not know how to do this, let me talk to them, I did prevail upon them." Abandon the earnings he would not, and began to organize the meeting.

One of my first clients was the Alkaino Roberto, who led a vast network of drug distribution in the United States. In the end he became my main guarantor in the cartel, so that in front of me opened a lot of doors. In addition to the drug Alkaino dealt in real estate, jewelry business, in promotion boxing matches owned companies to export seafood - it was a cover for the importation of cocaine. And I was laundering his money through a mortgage company. For example, we created the appearance of a large construction project financing - housing complex, and then the money in the form of certificates of deposit were to organize a boxing fight in Miami.

Then I began to meet with other players Alkaino level. I met with Santiago Uribe, who was one of the main advisers to Pablo Escobar. He was the creator of a global network of money laundering. Its powers were very great. He personally dispose of the lives of those who, in his opinion, could put the group at risk. I attended many meetings in which he ordered to kill someone. We with Gonzalo Mora had to somehow dispose of the investment, and we have started to meet with top executives of banks that have been involved in money laundering. So I went to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). I told one of the top managers, which was responsible for investments and transfer of funds of my clients who have business in Colombia, bringing income in the United States. He understood exactly what I mean, and said that customers like me, recommended by the bank account in Panama. I offered to help open a Panamanian account, transfer money in certificates of deposit and move them as such in Luxembourg, to use them there as a secured loan. This man spoke to me as if it was all for him commonplace. I realized that I stumbled onto something huge: it was not about a single corrupt banker, and of the whole bank.

After some time I was introduced to Amjad Awan; his father at the time was led by Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan. Between the special services of different countries and bankers, helping to launder money, always there was a connection. For example, part owned by BCCI representative of Saudi intelligence. The same bank was used by the CIA to finance the Afghan mujahideen. So soon I literally bathed in the day gah different intelligence agencies.

Amjad Awan itself was a financial advisor to the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and knew where all of its capital. Awan has hunted for the CIA, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other special services. When they learned that I talk with Avan, they took over the leadership. But the operation ended prematurely, even though we had the basic design: BCCI earlier had dealings with the Medellin cartel. When, after the completion of the operation, we conducted a search, we have found all the documents confirmed that through the bank laundered hundreds of millions of dollars.


In this story, I have supported the entire team of agents, about 200 people. Everyone who worked on the BCCI case was asked to come up with how to collect the suspects in one place. These were people from all over the world: from Colombia, Pakistan, Great Britain, France. You had some big event to lure them into the United States.

Gonzalo Mora was a big fan of strip clubs. One day I had to keep him company. At some point, Mora led me to the girl and said it was a gift. I replied that I was engaged, and he took it with understanding. But for the next visit to the United States Mora I had to find a "bride". In this role took her agent from Miami, it is almost a year portrayed my girlfriend.

More and more of our customers have often asked me when we get married. So I came up with the idea to organize a fake wedding to get everyone to come to the same place.

The event was to be held at the country club, and the guests did not suspect anything. There were arrested Amjad Awan, Akbar Bilgrami, whose father was an influential Pakistani military ally Alkaino Juan Debon, the key for the cartel banker in Panama Aftab Hussain and many other well-known figures.

Alkaino himself he was arrested a month before the wedding. He shared with me all your secrets, and I learned from him about the large supply of cocaine. Alkaino take drugs in a warehouse in Manhattan's Chelsea, where he was taken. I feared that he would suspect me because I knew about the cargo. But then I called his wife and said that I - the only one who trusts Roberto, so I just have to take on his responsibilities to collect money from the dealers.

The risk of

I happened to be on the verge of failure. One day I was walking through the lobby of a Manhattan hotel with Alkaino, suddenly I hear: "Bob!" I looked up and saw me fit person I planted as a result of the previous operation. I was working in one of the American drug gangs, and my goals were their lawyer and accountant. They both agreed to cooperate with the investigation, and I managed to have them knock off time. In general, it was the same accountant. I turned to Alkaino and said, "Oh, this is my old friend." I rushed to meet an accountant, embraced him and whispered: "Charlie, I again under the cover, played up to me!" I let go of him, he smiled, and I felt like my back, between the shoulder blades, flowing drop of sweat. But Charlie just said, 'Bob, the guys in Vegas a hundred years have not seen you, you're all overworked! How are you?" Sometimes our superiors to make such decisions, which I was not happy. Once I had to pass about ten million dollars, and I pleaded with management to do without surveillance, because it knew: for they surely will follow. And then I called Gonzalo Mora and said one of the closest Escobar told him that the truck with the money the feds are watching. He quite accurately described their appearance and their car. Cartel accused me of what I had brought them on the tail. Most agents in my place would have become justified and would go to the nearest meeting under its cover, but I went anyway. I met with a representative of the cartel in one of the hotels in Miami alone. I'm with you there was no gun or badge. I was able to convince his interlocutor immediately cease all operations in order to find the leak, and in addition send a few suspicious people to rest and to follow them. I still think that if I was covered, the cartel would have noticed. As a result, my interlocutor believe that the problem is not in me, and stood up for me.

During the next major operation, one of the agents who worked with me told his people that I "mole" of the Drug Enforcement Administration. By the time he was three years in the proportion of criminals and could not get off. reward of $ 500 thousand was assigned for my head. I think that made it Gerardo Moncada, who was responsible for the transportation of drugs Escobar. By the time we have arrested several of his men and almost caught him. He was fond of violence, but in the end came to him just as he is - with others. Moncada Escobar stole the money, that were intended to bribe Colombian politicians - that they did not restore an extradition treaty with the United States. Escobar called Moncada and his brother to himself, hung them by their feet and burned soldering lamps.


Many people believe that in order to win the trust of the criminals to behave in the same way as they do, but it is not. I found that the people standing in the hierarchy of the drug cartels above all, were very well educated, most of them spoke a few eign languages, working lawyers, doctors or senior managers. And if they notice that someone is attracting too much attention, they were thrown out of the man, or even killed. They want their subordinates to behave professionally.

But I always remembered that after the operation will begin a public trial, and lawyers will ask about your every action. You have no right to do anything that may subsequently cause the jury to doubt your honesty. As a result, the whole thing could fall apart. During the trial of BCCI I had to go to court within three months - I wrote about 1200 conversations with the suspects, but many of the meeting could not have come from the bug, so I told them from memory. No one doubted that I was telling the truth, because I've tried to act professionally and honestly.

When the work under the guise of ending, many agents arrange a noisy party, congratulate each other, but I never could, because some part of me remained with the people that I was a friend. I was very sorry for their relatives - they are nothing were not to blame. I know agents who then pursued for a long time the feeling of guilt. Fortunately, I escaped this problem.


All the world's drug cartels seeking to create a safe haven where you can safely do business. In Mexico, now there is a war the same as before - in Colombia, with murder and destruction. But at some point, Colombian traffickers have come to the same conclusion, which is still in 1950 made the Italian mafia in New York: the more violent, the more attention you attract. It Colombians supplying Mexican cartels cocaine, which is then distributed with the products of their own Mexican production: crystal meth, heroin, marijuana. The drug mafia has managed to create a safe corridor for the export of cocaine from South America to Europe via Venezuela, because its government does not cooperate with foreign law enforcement agencies. Venezuela sent cocaine to West Africa, and then - in Europe, where it sells twice as expensive than it costs in the United States. The money from this business are international banks, the headquarters of which are located primarily in the Middle East - in Lebanon, Bahrain, the UAE, but in addition, and in China. Gradually, the activities of the drug cartels is beginning to affect the lives of African countries, the authorities of these countries have become increasingly corrupt, and it seems that most of the French-speaking countries of the region awaits the fate of Mexico.

The US government pursues the banks that are engaged in money laundering, only in order to impose on them a fine. In my opinion, it's still just enter them in the share. BCCI leadership at the time stated that the bank did not do nothing that would not do the other major global banks.

Take, for example, of Wachovia Bank. He admitted that he made a deposit - allegedly from the Mexican currency exchange - 400 billion dollars. That's a third of Mexican GDP. The bank took the money in the form of remittances, and besides, he was carrying cash day gi from Mexico to the United States on the collector armored cars. Total thus transported 14 billion, and in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 dollars. If used only twenty, then the entire amount would have weighed 700 tons. In March 2010, he agreed to a deferred prosecution. In my opinion, it's the same, just to threaten with a finger: if you acknowledge your guilt, we will remove the charge will follow you a year, and if you do not break the law, then just pay a fine.

And punished Wachovia? They were fined 160 million dollars - it is 2% of their income in 2009. In my opinion, the perfect business solution for the bank. And such cases, there were at least a dozen: banks paid fines but not jail turned one.