U.S. extradites businessman accused of drug ties to Mexico

10/18/16 Reuters

The United States on Tuesday extradited to Mexico a businessman accused of working with drug cartels after $205 million in cash was found at his Mexico City home, ending a years-long legal battle.

Zhenli Ye Gon, who was arrested in the United States in July 2007 after the discovery of the cash, faces charges of organized crime, drug trafficking, firearms and money laundering in Mexico, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

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Cartels Put Their Money Laundering on Corporate Credit Cards

09/13/16 InSight Crime

credit cards and coinsOrganized crime groups are getting creative with credit cards to move illicit proceeds across international borders without setting off regulatory alarms attuned to cash deposits, money wires or automated transfers.

Transnational organized crime (TOC) groups have dealt with the perennial problem of moving value across borders undetected.

At some point all of these groups deal with the three steps in the money laundering process, but the first one, placement, is potentially the most hazardous hurdle to overcome.

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‘Largest Ever’ Cash Seizure Made on US-Mexico Border

08/30/16 InSight Crime

Authorities in San Diego County, California, have reportedly made the area’s largest-ever cash seizure, drawing attention to the role of bulk cash smuggling as a simple yet enduringly popular money launderingmethod for transnational organized crime.

On August 23, US Border Patrol agents arrested two men in the North County area for attempting to transport more than $3 million in cash over the border with Mexico in separate vehicles.

“This amount of money represents the largest currency seizure ever in San Diego Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow said.

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[Video] Former Mexican Governor Detained in Spain

1/19/2016 Wilson Center Trending

viri wilson center trending

It’s been a good week for Mexican law and order. Following the recent capture of El Chapo, comes the news that Former Mexican Governor Moreira has been detained in Spain as part of an ongoing money-laundering investigation. Wilson Fellow Viridiana Rios provides analysis.

Watch the Video. 

Viridiana Rios, a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, is an expert in Mexico’s subnational economy, citizen security and rule of law. She analyzes labor markets, productivity, and development indicators at Mexico, and disentangles how violence, conflict, rule of law, and corruption have affected them. Her career has taken her from positions as public officer and applied researcher, to entrepreneur and journalist. As a public officer, Viridiana has served as adviser to Mexico’s Minister of Finance, and to Mexican President’s Spokesman. As a researcher, she has worked with the Guggenheim Foundation of New York City, the United Nations, USAID, The World Bank, The Center for US-Mexico Studies at the University of California in San Diego, the Trans-border Institute at the University of San Diego, and Mexico’s ministries of social development (SEDESOL), education (SEP), and security (SNSP). In a more entreprenuerial gig, Viridiana directed México ¿Cómo Vamos?, a start-up think tank specialized in translating academic knowledge to the language of policy makers and the press. Finally, as journalist, she has a weekly column at Excélsior, a Mexican national newspaper.

Watch the Video.

US Banks Close Branches Along Mexico Border to Prevent Money Laundering

5/27/2015 InSight Crime

Major US banks have recently closed branches along the southern border with Mexico in an attempt to crack down on money laundering, a reflection of the ease with which Mexican drug traffickers can legitimize illicit proceeds north of the border.

In recent months, major banks such J.P. Morgan and Bank of America have closed their branches in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, reported The Wall Street Journal. Other banks, including Wells Fargo and Chase, have reportedly closed hundreds of customer accounts, many of which belonged to Mexican nationals.

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Mexico Say Expects Kingpin Extradition Request From U.S. Soon

Reuters, 1/20/2015

handcuffsMexico’s attorney general said on Tuesday he expects the United States to submit an extradition request soon for drug lord Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who was Mexico’s most wanted man until his capture last February.

“I’m aware they’re going to ask me, and it won’t be a problem to do all the paperwork to determine at the time what will be most convenient,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo told reporters in Mexico City of the U.S. extradition request.

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Former Mexico official pleads guilty in corruption probe

09/17/14 Reuters

justice-systemA former top official in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, whose case became a symbol of Mexican government corruption, has pleaded guilty in Texas to federal money laundering charges, according to court documents. Hector Javier Villarreal Hernandez was charged in Mexico with using his position as Coahuila’s Secretary of Finance to take out nearly a quarter billion dollars in fraudulent loans between 2008 and 2011, using the credit of the state as collateral.

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