CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - South Carolina passed a law that aims to cut down on money laundering. It requires all money and wire transfers be tracked. Solicitor Jimmy Richardson told News13 people transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of the state of South Carolina. He said that money all went to Mexico and blames that for part of the drug problem in Horry County.
From 2010 to 2015 arrests for heroin in Horry County doubled. Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says it's a problem that's gotten out of hand.
"It is imperative that we get control over the heroin epidemic."
Richardson said at least three people die each week in Horry County because of an overdose. He said the way the heroin gets into our state is through money laundering.
"On average 700-million leaving our state and going to the cartels in Mexico."
News13 asked Richardson how he could be sure of this.
"One of the things you look at is the purity of the heroin that is being sold around here. That's another big indicator that this is a supply site area and the heroin that we've been finding is above 86% purity."
Richardson said that shows Myrtle Beach is a hub since the heroin hasn't been diluted. Prior to the new law, money sent from places like Western Union and MoneyGram were not tracked. The new law will change that.
"You register all of these money lenders that have not been registered to this point. You register where the money is coming from, in other words who is sending it and where it is going."
South Carolina is the last state to adopt this legislation. Richardson said it's a bit late.
"You are already hearing from the sort of nerdy types and the computer types of bitcoins and all these other ways to launder money. The old fashioned way of taking bills and currency down to a hacienda type store, that may have gone the way of the dinosaur anyways."
Richardson said the law will not go into effect until next June. When that happens, the Attorney General's office will be responsible for tracking money transfers.
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