US money transfer outfit Western Union has hailed a Supreme Court judgement that Arizona exceeded its authority in attempting to seize wire transfers sent from other states to locations in Mexico.
The ruling follows a three-year legal battle after Arizona's attorney general obtained a warrant seeking to seize all Western Union money transfers above $500 sent from anyone in 29 US states to any of 26 agent locations in Sonora, Mexico.
Authorities were after funds suspected of being payments related to trafficking in drugs and human cargo. Arizona's law enforcement agencies maintained that funds were being wired from other locations because of the state's success in stopping such transfers.
Western Union obtained a temporary restraining order blocking the seizures, but found a decision in its favour overturned by the Court of Appeals. The latest judgement upholding Western Union's position relates only to payments despatched to Mexico from states other than Arizona.
In a statement, Western Union says: "We are pleased that the Arizona Supreme Court has agreed with us. While this decision prohibits the seizure of out-of-state transactions, we will continue to work with Arizona to combat illegal activity."