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Nonfiction Book Review: The Laundrymen: Money Laundering the World's Third Largest Business by Jeffrey Robinson, Author Arcade Publishing $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-55970-330-7
Money made illegally presents a problem when it is in vast quantities of bills, but, as Robinson (Yamani) shows in this staggering expose, there is no dearth of bankers, lawyers, businesspeople, even government officials willing to help launder it. Among the contentions in this important book: worldwide, more money is spent on illicit drugs than on food; virtually every bill in circulation in the U.S. bears microscopic traces of cocaine; dozens of Third World countries would collapse economically if it were not for drug money. And those in charge of cleaning dirty money are sophisticated in creating paper trails that can take months or years to unravel; some of the machinations are so complex that reading about them here demands close attention. Among the specific cases Robinson discusses are those involving Italy's Banco Ambrosiano, tied to the Vatican Bank (IOR), and the BCCI scandal. The prognosis he presents is alarming: electronic banking will solve the major problems encountered when launderingmoney. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996 Release date: 08/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction