Joaquin El Chapo Guzman has for a long time been one of the most feared drug lords in the world, mainly because of the influence he has had over the security apparatus and state officials in his home country, Mexico. This is not to mention the violent means his cartel has at its disposal to obliterate anyone it deems a threat. According to a report by the Daily Mail, his cartel boasted over 5,000 hitmen under its armed wing, the Los Antrax, last year. It was originally led by Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa also known as “El Chino Antrax.”
He was arrested last year at an airport in Amsterdam following suspected links to El Chapo Guzman’s organization. His group of hitmen is said to have carried out numerous murders over the years, and is believed to have killed three men in 2011 in retaliation for the murder of one of its leaders. His social media accounts are said to have given him away because of the extravagant lifestyle he flaunted.
Away from the violent aspect of El Chapo Guzman’s organization, it also relies on a money laundering network and earlier this year, one of his cartel’s biggest money launderers, Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, was arrested in Mexico. He had apparently laundered more than 4 billion dollars over the course of one decade. The following is an excerpt of the report by MSN.
“Groups of elite federal police and the Mexican Army arrested Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, nicknamed ‘El Rey Midas’ (‘King Midas’) in Oaxaca,” the police said in a statement.
“According to investigators, the 34-year-old operated a network of companies and currency exchange centers through which some $300 to $400 million dollars passed each year on behalf of Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, for a total of more than $4 billion in a decade.”
He was said to have been arrested in accordance with an extradition request by the United States for racketeering and money laundering in Miami-Dade County. Investigators on his case apparently used wiretaps and monitored financial transactions to unravel the complex network. The following is an excerpt of the report by the Miami Herald.
“To unravel the money-laundering operation — which was washing about $1 million a month — investigators used wiretaps, surveillance, reviews of thousands of financial transactions and cooperation from informants, according to an arrest warrant by HSI agent Charles Thomas, Miami-Dade Detective Jonathan Santana and prosecutor Jared Nixon.
“… So many businesses here, particularly in Doral, do business with Colombia. In April 2015, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a warning to 700 Miami businesses believed to be involved in laundering drug money.”
Just a few days ago, another man, Ambioris Acosta de la Cruz, suspected to be a money launderer for El Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking outfit was arrested on Kirkland Avenue in Middlesex County, following an arrest warrant from Miami-Dade County, Florida. This was in relation to racketeering and money laundering charges. He is believed to be part of a scheme involving El Chapo Guzman’s and Colombian cartels. According to My Central Jersey, he was a player in a trade-based method in which carriers transferred cash between key players.
The transportation guys usually never got to meet their superiors, which enhanced anonymity. Acosta was in 2015 monitored by undercover agents after they were asked to pick up a “money package” from him. The money was apparently tightly wrapped and stuffed inside an Xbox console casing and was $197,984 in total. He was followed after two such occasions, but always disappeared after going into an apartment complex. As for El Chapo Guzman, he is still in jail in Juarez awaiting extradition to the United States.
[Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP Photo]