Mexico Bans Large Cash Transactions
A police officer patrols the border crossing in Tijuana.
Nathan Gibbs
October 17, 2012

Mexico passed a law this week that bans large cash transactions. It's all part of a larger plan to prevent organized crime finance in the country.

When Mexico's incoming president, Enrique Peña Nieto, takes office this winter he’ll have a new financial crimes unit in place. Its agents will be monitoring cash transactions and looking for large purchases made by drug cartels.

The new law bans cash payments of more than half a million pesos, or $38,750 U.S. dollars, for property. It also bans cash purchases of items like cars or even lottery tickets worth more than $15,000 U.S. dollars.

Mexico’s Finance Minister estimated organized crime syndicates launder about $10 billion per year. The U.S. State Department estimates the amount of money laundered in Mexico is double or even triple that.

In San Diego, the Chula Vista Police Department recently received a $2.9 million grant to crack down on cross-border money laundering.

Updated 10/17/2012 at 11:39 p.m.