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Release Date: December 12, 2000

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board today announced the issuance of several enforcement actions related to foreign banking organizations that had been involved with Operation Casablanca.

Operation Casablanca was a law enforcement undercover operation that resulted in numerous criminal money laundering convictions of drug traffickers, bankers, and two foreign banking organizations with operations in the United States - - Bancomer, S.A., Mexico City, Mexico and Banca Serfin, S.A., Lomas de Sante Fe, Mexico. The Federal Reserve provided substantial assistance to the United States Customs Service and the United States Department of Justice during the undercover operation and subsequent prosecutions.

On May 18, 1998, in response to the alleged misconduct by employees of several foreign banking organizations whose activities were identified during Operation Casablanca, the Federal Reserve Board issued Temporary Orders to Cease and Desist. The Temporary Orders required the banks to enhance their anti-money laundering policies and procedures in the United States.

    The Federal Reserve Board's actions today included:
  • The issuance of an order with regard to Bancomer, S.A. determining that it is not necessary to terminate the United States operations of the bank as a result of the bank's conviction for a money laundering offense in the United States.
  • The issuance of a consent Cease and Desist Order against Bancomer, S.A., requiring continued enhancements of the bank's anti-money laundering policies and procedures.
  • Because Banca Serfin, S.A. ceased all operations in the United States at the end of 1999, no further enforcement action against the bank was necessary.
  • The issuance of a Written Agreement between Banco Industrial de Venezuela and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta requiring continued enhancements of the bank's anti-money laundering policies and procedures.
  • The termination of the Temporary Orders to Cease and Desist that had been issued against Bancomer, S.A., Banca Serfin, S.A. and Banco Industrial de Venezuela.

In March 2000, the Federal Reserve Board terminated Temporary Cease and Desist Orders that had been issued in 1998 against Banco Nacional de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Banco Internacional, S.A., Mexico City, Mexico; and Banco Santander, Madrid, Spain.

The issuance of these enforcement actions concludes the Federal Reserve's enforcement efforts arising out of Operation Casablanca.

Copies of the relevant orders and the Written Agreement are attached.

Attachment (964 KB PDF)

2000 Enforcement actions

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Last update: December 12, 2000