Six Chinese citizens and four Mexicans who were arrested last month in Mexico City belonged to a money laundering ring that provided services to two of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels, according to the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR).
The head of the organized crime investigation unit (SEIDO) told a press conference yesterday that in addition to detaining the 10 suspects late last month, federal security forces also seized just over US $10.5 million, 95,800 pesos (US $4,720), five properties, 10 vehicles with hidden compartments, financial records and a firearm.
“. . . The persons under arrest are part of an international network of financial operators linked to different criminal organizations who generate violence in national territory and operate with the proceeds of their illicit operations,” Israel Lira Salas said.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Gulf Cartel are both believed to be among the criminal groups that sent profits to the money laundering ring, made up of nine men and a woman.
Personnel from the army, SEIDO, the Federal Police and a financial intelligence unit carried out operations on May 26 and May 29 to execute search warrants at several addresses in the capital.
The six Chinese nationals were arrested on the first date and the four Mexicans were detained three days later.
The wife of CJNG boss Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes was also arrested on May 26.
Rosalinda González Valencia was allegedly “the administrator of the economic and legal resources” of the cartel, Attorney General Alfonso Navarrete Prida said, making it likely that she had close contact with the money laundering ring.
The PGR said the 10 detainees remain in custody in Mexico City and will face trial on charges of organized crime, the use of funds derived from illegal sources and the violation of federal firearm laws.
In its 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said there was evidence that Mexican drug cartels collaborate with the Chinese mafia to launder drug profits from around the world in Mexico City.
The DEA charged that there are Chinese criminal cells in cities such as New York and Los Angeles that send illicit money to the Mexican capital through a variety of payment methods.
Federal authorities in Mexico have said that the CJNG has increased its presence in Mexico City by forming alliances with smaller drug trafficking organizations such as the Tláhuac Cartel, which is based in the borough of the same name in the south of the city.
Relations between Mexico’s cartels and Chinese criminals are not new.
In 2007, authorities seized US $205 million in cash as well as other assets from the Mexico City home of Chinese-Mexican businessman Zhenli Ye Gon.
Ye Gon was alleged to be a member of the Sinaloa Cartel and involved in money laundering and drug trafficking. He was arrested in the United States in 2007 where he remains imprisoned.
Source: El Universal (sp)