Sinaloa cartel 'launders' money in California with the help of Chinese exchange houses, US reveals

An investigation by the United States Department of Justice has linked the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, one of the main drug distributors in the country, with the Chinese exchange houses that operate in the state of Californiawhich they used to launder money, this institution reported in a statement.

The research indicates that a money laundering network linked to Sinaloa cartel collected and, with the help of a group of exchange houses based in the San Gabriel Valley (California), related to Chinese underground banking, processed large amounts of drug money in the Los Angeles area.

Chinese clandestine banking supposedly hid the profits from drug trafficking and gave members of cartels in Mexico and other countries access to those income generated in the United States.

The Department of Justice has formally charged members of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel with 10 charges, with headquarters in Los Angeles, and estimates that more than 50 million dollars from drug trafficking circulated between the partners of this Mexican group and the clandestine Chinese exchange houses.

This is how the Sinalo Cartel hides drug money in the US with the help of China

The main accused, Edgar Joel Martínez-Reyes, 45 years old and resident of East Los Angeles, He and other members of the organization used a variety of methods to conceal the origin of the money, including trade-based laundering, “structuring” of assets to avoid federal financial reporting requirements, and the purchase of cryptocurrency.

In the “Operation Fortune Runner”, as this investigation is called, a total of 24 defendants are, however, charged with the crimes of conspiracy to collaborate in the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine; launder monetary instruments and operate an unlicensed money transfer company, among others.

The individuals charged in this proceeding stemming from the investigation, including one who appeared last Monday, are expected to appear in the United States District Court in Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

Within the framework of this investigation, law enforcement forces have seized approximately 5 million dollars from drug trafficking, 302 pounds of cocaine, 92 pounds of methamphetamine, 3 thousand ecstasy pills44 pounds of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), numerous ounces of ketamine, three semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines and eight semi-automatic pistols, according to the statement.

The Sinaloa cartel is largely responsible for the massive entry of fentanyl into the United States for approximately eight years, as well as the accompanying violence and deaths that have afflicted communities on both sides of the border. The cartel's activities generate enormous sums of US currency in the United States, according to the note.