OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL GETS “TOUGH” WITH DRUG & MONEY TRANSPORTERS….
DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW by Monte Friesner
Financial Crime Consultant for WANTED SA
Thursday October 14, 2010
WANTED SA has learned that the Office of Foreign Assets Control [OFAC] has named* Mexican and Colombian pilots and air cargo companies that transport drugs and money for the Flores Cacho Network of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, together with operatives supporting the criminal enterprise, as Specially-Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpins [SDNTK].
Companies designated include a Mexico City-based Air Cargo Carrier; Flight School used to train the organization’s pilots; an Aircraft Hangar and an Aviation Maintenance business.
The “bulk cash” smuggling aspect of the cartel was a central part of the Treasury announcement; I cannot remember another case when the pilots themselves were singled out for sanctions.
This may be a signal that US Law Enforcement and Regulatory Agencies are focusing on the illicit transport of cash, and the individuals operating illicit money pipelines out of the United States and on into Mexico, Panama and Colombia.
The Director of OFAC, Adam Szubin, spelled out the objective of the sanctions:
- ~ "Today's designation targets the network of Alejandro Flores Cacho, who has used his Air Cargo and Financial Front Companies to move drugs and money on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel.
- ~ Treasury will continue to target the Mexican drug cartels in support of the Government of Mexico's dedicated and courageous efforts to combat narcotics trafficking and money laundering.**"
Note that Director Szubin in his statement places “bulk cash” smuggling on equal footing with drugs smuggling.
Other front companies that were also designated as support enterprises for the criminal enterprise:
- ~ A restaurant
- ~ A cattle ranch
- ~ An agricultural business
- ~ A manufacturing and distribution firm
- ~ A sports management club
- ~ An electronics company
- ~ An office supplies store
Photographs of the newly-sanctioned individuals in the Flores Cacho Network of the Sinaloa Cartel and the leadership can be viewed here:
**Treasury Targets Sinaloa Cartel financial and Air Cargo Networks
The facts and opinions stated in this article are those of the author and not those of WANTED SA. WANTED SA does not warrant the accuracy of any facts and opinions stated in this article; does not endorse them, and accepts no responsibility for them.