“Most of the time the Yakuza launder money using tried-and-true methods. For example, they wash hundreds of millions of dollars annually through Tokyo real estate, buying amd selling the same buildings to themselves. This artificially runs up prices. The Yakuza then back loans on these buildings with U.S. treasury bonds bought in the freewheeling, unregulated Hong Kong market.
In mid-1985, having generated enormous amounts of cash through its drug-dealing networks, one Yakuza syndicate turned its attention to the thriving trade in French designer luxury goods such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
Cash was wired into France, using Asian banks that routed it via Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. Luxury goods were purchased with cash at places like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Lancel. These items were packaged up and exported with forged documents back to Japan where they were wholesaled by a Yakuza shell company.”