“Socalj” for Borderland Beat
|The Sinaloa Cartel laundered more than 6 billion pesos in five years with a network of billing companies in Mexico City.
According to court documents, one of those involved, identified as “Santiago,” was arrested and linked to a criminal proceeding for the crimes of organized crime with the purpose of committing crimes in terms of operations with resources of illicit origin and operations with resources of illicit origin in the modalities of receiving, transferring and hiding or pretending to hide resources within the national territory.
The money laundering was done through a network of 18 legally constituted companies which were “fronts” and operated between 2013 and 2018. The network was discovered by the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Ministry of Finance and reported to the Attorney General’s Office.
In the initial investigation, the FIU detected that various companies as a whole would have operated between October 2017 and April 2018 more than 2 billion pesos, without any contractual justification, without reporting it to the authorities, and above all, without having commercial activity. given that they were “EFOS” companies, companies that invoice simulated operations.
According to the FIU, coincidences were identified between various companies in terms of legal representatives and addresses, which also have inexplicable financial ties. The commercial entities investigated, he points out, are part of an operation scheme designed to introduce resources of illicit origin into the financial system, since irregularities were detected in their operation, which highlights that they do not operate with the purpose of fulfilling their purpose.
It is found irregular and incongruous that commercial entities carry out operations for high amounts in favor of individuals through checks and transfers since it is not consistent with a real operation. There are indicators that the companies in the scheme are front companies, controlled by the same group of people since they share shareholders, legal representatives, attorneys, or other members of their corporate structures.
|One of the companies in the money laundering network was tied to the financing behind El Chapo’s 2015 prison escape.|
The FGR delved into the investigations of the network that Santiago was a part of and found that the triangulation of resources was more than 6 billion pesos. From 2013 and at least until December 2018, the documents indicate, those involved have permanently deployed behaviors whose purpose is to commit crimes in terms of operations with resources of illicit origin, in the modalities of receiving, transferring, and hiding or pretending to hide resources within the national territory with the knowledge that they come from or represent the product of illegal activity.
In the investigations, the FGR identified Santiago as one of those responsible and obtained an arrest warrant that was executed on June 10, 2022, and was made available to the District Judge Specialized in the Accusatory Criminal System of the Federal Criminal Justice Center in the State of Mexico with headquarters in Almoloya de Juárez. The judge ordered preventive detention that he will serve at his home due to the state of health he suffers.