20 August 2006

Fun Money Laundering Facts

According to "Information Technologies for Control of Money Laundering" a government publication, $1million in $20 bills weighs 111 pounds! In $5 bills, 444 pounds. That means in $100 bills it would weigh $22.2 pounds. Federal agencies estimate that as much as $300 billion is laundered annually, worldwide. Somewhere between $40 billion and $80 billion is drug profits made in the U.S. Most drug transactions are done in $5 and $20 bills. That means that somewhere between 2000 and 5000 tons of paper money has to be converted into other instruments ($100s, T-Bills, Cashier's checks, and wire transfers) every year in the U.S. alone!

The next piece I'm making up, but by my estimates, $1 million in $20 bills would take about four banker's boxes to fill. That means that we are talking about somewhere between 160,000 and 350,000 banker's boxes full of cash that have to be changed into other instruments each year. This is several semi truckloads! (I'll have to figure out how many later.) It is absolutely mind-boggling!