“Your dear friend, Mr. Monty, has contacted me and asked that we look into drug lords and their money simply vanishing from Mexico. I suspect it will extend across the Caribbean, but he did not bring that up. Apparently for the last several months, one drug lord after another just drops off the grid along with their accumulated wealth.”
“Could it be the normal drug cartel turf war activity where one is deposed by another and the winner just takes over until the next war? There has been some buzz for many weeks now regarding drug lords and money movement. No specifics though. Why are we being asked to help in area rather than the officials running those countries? Is the U.S. DEA involved? Monty is not DEA, but he should be tied into their intelligence gathering. For the record he is not my dear friend. I do like picking on him though.” Quip added a grin and suppressed a chuckle thinking about his last encounter with Mr. Monty.
“My dear Quip, this is accounting forensics that we are being asked to look into. Money just doesn’t disappear from the balance sheet without a corresponding entry somewhere else. We are interested in the somewhere else of this missing drug money and the top tier drug lords themselves. If it was just one drug dealer making a run for it with his ill-gotten gains, then, yes, you are correct the U.S. DEA and Mexican police can run their operation without any help from us. However since it is a steady stream of drug dealers with their drug money vanishing that means that some kind of well-run organization is at play. A new organization we aren’t aware of makes me very nervous especially with the potentially huge sums of money. We want to know everything about them. Wouldn’t you agree, Quip?”
“I totally agree. New bad guys, hmmm my favorite. Should I alert Jacob and Petra? When are they due back from their vacation anyway?”
“That’s right, they are down in Acapulco, but they’ve only been there a short time. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get word to them in case your reconnaissance efforts need some field work to help get answers. You go ahead and start. They really aren’t due back for two more weeks, but I’ll contact them and ask them to stay a few more days in case we need eyes and hands in the area. Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend a little more time in the Caribbean on R&R?” Otto grinned at finding a way to keep Petra and Jacob in a romantic setting.
“I can start. I presume this is not a higher priority that finding Lara. JAC is sending updates on locations that have not gained us any ground, so we are eliminating some cities and countries.”
“Correct. Please don’t stop that effort. Let’s just fit this one in as well.”
Otto returned to his office and launched an encrypted call to Petra.
“Hi, Otto. Checking up on me, or is there something else going on? Jacob and I are still keeping an eye out for your friend’s daughter, nothing yet. No pretty models either though some are expected soon for the upcoming season of fashions. I related that to JAC.”
Otto recounted the new assignment received from Mr. Monty and Quip’s primary role for tracking large fund transfers and so forth.
“I was calling to see if you and Jacob might be willing to stay a little longer there in Acapulco in case Quip comes up with a few leads that you could run down for him. You might have to go to Mexico City or somewhere else in Mexico which should be a quick hop from where you are staying. ”
“Oh darn! Otto, you mean we have to stay here a little longer?” she asked sweetly as she struggled to contain her exuberance.
Otto, sensing her pleasure at the request, smiled. “My dearest Petra, I cannot understand your speech while you are mimicking the moves of the females in a tribe doing the happy dance. I trust you can break the news gently to Jacob so he won’t be as disappointed that you are both to stay a while longer?”
Petra giggled, “Actually, Otto, we met some interesting people here, and after they learned that Jacob is a pen-tester they wanted to know if he would do a security analysis on their bank. Frankly the whole set of circumstances seem a little odd, but it wasn’t too stray of a request. They are willing to pay for the service. You know Jacob. A few days away from his computer and his hands itch.”
Otto focused, “Indeed. A Mexican bank?”
“No, a bank in the Cayman Islands. Jacob is not sure about the request being legitimate so we wanted to discuss it with you. We had planned to phone you later. They will provide private transport. They seem to have their own planes so it is not a small business. We are trying to gather some additional details.”
Otto responded, “Interesting. Let me send a contract, under Resource Security Service, to you with proper T&C’s for use in your discussions with these people. I would very much like to have some internal reconnaissance on this bank so we should try and have you both work this piece of business. Yes, this has possibilities, young lady, and we need to see where it will take us.”
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