Cartels And China Form Sinister, Blood-Thirsty Alliance

The Department of Justice declared this week that it had discovered, after a five-year probe, that a Mexican cartel laundered drug trafficking proceeds by collaborating with an American organization connected to Chinese underground banking.

According to a DOJ press release, “Operation Fortune Runner” revealed that a Sinaloa drug cartel-affiliated money laundering network collaborated with a San Gabriel Valley, California-based money transmitting group to handle “substantial sums of drug proceeds in U.S. currency in the Los Angeles area.” Federal investigators claim that the California-based group has connections to Chinese shadow banking.

“A collaboration between associates of the Sinaloa Cartel and a Chinese criminal organization that operates in China and Los Angeles.”

The organizations allegedly withheld the earnings and gave the money to the cartel’s members in Mexico and other countries.

“Today, the Justice Department unveiled a 10-count superseding indictment accusing members of the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico who are based in Los Angeles of collaborating with organizations that launder money to launder revenues from drug trafficking by way of Chinese underground banking.” Chinese underground money exchanges and affiliates of the Sinaloa Cartel exchanged more than $50 million in cocaine earnings during the conspiracy, according to a news statement from the DOJ.

The DOJ said that after the fugitives left the country, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement authorities detained them. The superseding indictment named the fugitives. One count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and one count of conspiracy to launder money, are among the numerous charges that twenty-four defendants are facing, according to the department.

The charges against Edgar Joel Martinez-Reyes, 45, of East Los Angeles, included using a number of strategies to conceal the source of the funds, including cryptocurrency, “structuring” assets, and trade-based money laundering schemes.

The inquiry yielded the seizure of approximately $5 million in earnings from the sale of illicit drugs, along with 92 pounds of methamphetamine, 302 pounds of cocaine, 3,000 Ecstasy pills, 44 pounds of ketamine and psilocybin, three rifles, and eight handguns.

“Dangerous substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying Americans’ lives, but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California.

Estrada went on, “Therefore, it is critical that we pursue the sophisticated, global criminal syndicates that launder the drug money in order to defend our neighborhood.” “This indictment and our foreign efforts demonstrate our tenacious pursuit of all those who support damage in our country, ensuring their accountability for their activities.”

Money is the driving force behind Mexican drug gangs, who are “responsible for the biggest drug catastrophe in American history,” according to Drug Enforcement Administration head Anne Milgram.

“This DEA investigation revealed a drug-money laundering alliance between Chinese criminal syndicates operating in China and Los Angeles and affiliates of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Sinaloa Cartel is able to manufacture and transport its lethal poison into the United States thanks to the money laundering from drug sales, Milgram continued.

Author: Scott Dowdy

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