POSTED: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 12:29pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 1:22pm
CAMERON COUNTY, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, the Brownsville Police Department and the Harlingen Police Department jointly were awarded a $2.295 million-dollar grant to create a multi-discipline taskforce to combat bi-national moneylaundering methods along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Arizona-based Southwest Border Anti-Money-Laundering Alliance awarded the grant in August. This is the first time Cameron County agencies received the grant.
The D.A.'s Office will take the lead in organizing the taskforce known as the Financial Asset Seizure Team (FAST). The Team will consist of 19 members working with federal partners the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Our border has historically been one of the largest corridors for drug smuggling and other illegal contraband into the United States," District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said. "It is equally a corridor for the smuggling of money into Mexico. FAST will address this problem head-on."
For the last few months, member agencies have been collaborating to create the framework for the taskforce.