A bill key to Gov. Norm Bangerter's fight against drugs was approved by a Senate committee on Tuesday. The money laundering/
financial reporting bill sponsored by Sen. Rex Black, D-Salt Lake, passed with little opposition.The bill is aimed at punishing drug dealers who launder their illegal profits and bankers who knowingly help them.
The bill makes it a second-degree felony to buy things with drug money and transport drug money. It also fines financial institutions who knowingly launder drug money and makes all financial institutions report transactions of $10,000 cash or more, so law officers know when someone may be moving large amounts of cash through a financial institution.
Law officers were frustrated a year ago when they stopped a pickup truck in central Utah that had more than $1 million in cash hidden in the truck bed. Since they couldn't prove the money came from drugs, they had to return it and let the driver go. The new law would give them more tools to track that money, supporters said.
The bill now goes to the Senate.