MONEY LAUNDERING: Kink in the Drug Pipeline

Kink in the Drug Pipeline

In a country that prizes the secrecy of banking transactions, Luxembourg's ) Bank of Credit and Commerce International grew to become one of the world's largest financial institutions (assets: $21 billion). But in Tampa last week the bank lifted its veil of secrecy when two of its subsidiaries pleaded guilty in the first U.S. money-laundering case against a major international banking house. In a plea-bargaining deal, the two subsidiaries -- one based in Luxembourg and the other in the Cayman Islands -- agreed to surrender $14.7 million of alleged drug profits.

The penalty was attacked as too light by critics, who...