The days of getting cash from the bank are long gone. We, as individuals, are now able to enjoy the convenience of using automatic teller machines (ATM), debit, and credit cards. These cards can be used to make payments, purchase goods over the internet, and even pay for gas at the gas station. As you can see, using these cards is just like using cash.
Instead of giving paper to the teller, you give a plastic card that would deduct the cost of your purchase from the funds you have in the specified account. Debit and credit card transactions are now considered forms of electronic money. Throughout the years, drug traffickers have utilized many creative ways in which they buy, sell, and deposit profits made from the illegal sale of drugs. An example of this would be through the process of money laundering. Money Laundering involves the establishment of a legitimate business.
The launderer would inject increments of 'drug' money that would mirror increasing company profit. The individual would then be able to declare the increasing profit on his or her tax returns as to not raise any red flags and resemble the lifestyle of a normal individual. In response to such activities, President Bush signed the U.S.A. Patriot Act on October 26, 2001. This act required all financial institutions to use anti-money-laundering controls (AML). AML technology analyzes transactions at a bank and recognizes suspicious patterns of activity; it also seeks out names of blacklisted individuals and corporations which it can match transactions. With the increase in credit / debit card and AML technology use, it is quite clear that drug traffickers will be worse off than when they were in a predominantly paper (currency) oriented society.
With such technology in full effect, drug traffickers will have a harder time moving their cash around the world. It will now be easier to track money transactions for whether we believe it or not, there are individuals that analyze accounts in order to identify and investigate unusual account activity. This would include deposits from certain individuals / companies, deposits of certain amounts (particularly over $10,000), time period of deposits, money transfers, and which countries and accounts the money is being transferred / deposited into. In the age of paper, it would be easier to utilize large amounts of money by laundering it rather than placing it into an electronic account.
In the end, no matter how hard it may become for drug traffickers to sell and buy drugs, or deposit and withdraw money, if there is a motivated seller and a determined buyer (demand for drugs in the United States, and abundant supply of / provided ), drug trafficking will not cease to exist. There are many creative minds in this business and they will always find an alternative way-a way to get around government rules and regulations.