In two hours microtraffickers can sell up to 200 doses of marijuana and cocaine. That money means a minimum gain of USD 400 for mafias. But the sale of alkaloids is only one task of these bands. The other is to launder the illegal money obtained in such operations.
Antinarcotics agents know that microtrafficking is one of the “most effective” illicit businesses when it comes to launder money, since “gains” are small amounts ranging up to USD 3000, something difficult to track.
Investigators have identified several forms used by the mafia. One is through legal businesses that are used as facades to mix capitals and thus they get money entering the financial system.
Among the businesses where irregularities have been found are: restaurants, clothing stores, bars, discos, hotels and even markets. For example, in Quito early last year, the police seized 3,400 doses of marijuana and cocaine. The alkaloid was hiding in shops in San Roque, a neighborhood in downtown.