May 10, 2013
A federal jury in Texas convicted the brother of two alleged leaders of Mexico’s Los Zetas drug cartel of setting up a racehorse enterprise to launder millions of dollars in illicit profits, authorities said on Thursday. The jury found Jose Trevino Morales, 46, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Trevino Morales is the brother of alleged Zetas leaders Miguel and Oscar Omar Trevino Morales. Both men were named co-defendants in the case and are at large. The jury also convicted Mexican businessman Francisco Colorado Cessa, 52, horse trainer and purchasing agent Fernando Solis Garcia, 30, and 49-year-old horse trainer Eusevio Maldonado Huitron.
January 28, 2013
El Universal, 1/28/2013
According to a report released by the U.S. Senate about the International Narcotics Control, the annual amount of money laundered and smuggled by narcotraffickers was about 39 billion dollars. The report also claims that the money was trafficked across the border by trucks and other vehicles.
This figure also demonstrates that illicit operations by Mexican cartels have increased in both the United States and Mexico since money trafficking and laundering increased from 18 billion to 39 billion between 2008 and 2012.
December 17, 2012
Wall Street Journal 12/17/2012
Some say Eugenio Velázquez, a well-known architect in Tijuana, got off easy. In March, he tried to cross the border with nearly 13 pounds of cocaine stuffed in his car battery. Last week, a federal judge in San Diego slapped him with six months in prison and six months home detention.The judge accepted Mr. Velázquez’s story that drug traffickers put a gun to his head and threatened to harm his family if he didn’t smuggle their blow.
December 12, 2012
The Guardian, 12/11/2012
U.S. authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the “collateral consequences” of taking the bank to court.
The bank processed cash for Mexico‘s Sinaloa cartel, regarded as the most powerful and deadly drug gang in the world, among others. At least $881m in drug trafficking money was laundered throughout HSBC accounts. In order to handle the “staggering amounts of cash”, the bank even widened the windows at some branches to allow tellers to accept larger boxes of money.
August 29, 2012
Animal Politico, 8/29/12
A federal judge ordered the arrest of the ex-governor of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington, on charges of laundering money for the Gulf Cartel. Apparently the accusations against him have been verified by three different protected witnesses. The “Yarrington case” started in May when a federal Attorney Generals Office in the U.S. accused Yarrington of becoming governor by using illicit drug proceeds, which he also invested in Texas, which led to them seizing his properties.
August 27, 2012
Police in Nicaragua say they have found at least $7m (£4.4m) in cash in vans confiscated on Wednesday from 18 people posing as journalists.
They were detained trying to cross Nicaragua’s northern border in six vans, some of them painted with the logos of Mexico’s Televisa network.
Police chief Aminta Granera said the money was found in three of the vans.
August 17, 2012
Walmex V-series shares fell 6.2 percent to 35.80 pesos ($2.70) a share on Mexico’s stock exchange Wednesday following release of the letter from U.S. Reps. Henry Waxman and Elijah Cummings describing the new allegations.
“We have obtained internal company documents, including internal audit reports, from other sources suggesting that Wal-Mart may have had compliance issues relating not only to bribery, but also to ‘questionable financial behavior’ including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico,” the two U.S. congressmen wrote in the letter to Michael Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores.
Walmex said in a statement that “it has no knowledge that (it) is being investigated by Mexican authorities concerning these issues.”
August 3, 2012
The Los Angeles Times, 8/3/2012
In one of the most high-profile drug prosecutions of a Mexican politician, a former state governor has pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to charges that he helped launder millions of dollars for cocaine traffickers.
The plea was entered Thursday by Mario Villanueva, former governor of state, home to the posh resort town of Cancun.
Villanueva was extradited to the United States in 2010 and could face a sentence of up to 20 years.
July 27, 2012
The money-laundering scandal that hit HSBC Holdings Plc in Mexico was an isolated case in Latin America’s second-biggest economy, the head of the country’s banks association (ABM) was quoted as saying on Friday.
Mexico’s National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) levied a $27.5 million fine against the British bank after a scathing U.S. Senate report last week slammed HSBC for letting clients shift funds from dangerous and secretive countries.
July 25, 2012
Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires, 7/25/2012
Worldwide bank HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) said Wednesday Grupo Financiero HSBC, S.A. de C.V. , or HSBC Mexico, has paid a fine imposed by the National Banking and Securities Commission amounting to 379 million new Mexican pesos ($27.5 million), in connection with non-compliance with anti-money laundering systems and controls, including reporting requirements with regard to unusual transactions, as well as other prudential regulations.