“MX” for Borderland Beat; TY to leChef
|The tequila firm owned by El Chapo’s daughter|
Without imagining it, while Jalisco residents consume tequila in their parties, they indirectly help Mexican drug cartels hide their drug proceeds.
|Tijuana Cartel financial network, including the tequila firm (image: USDT)|
Seven years later, the DEA detected that a Mexican criminal group was smuggling cocaine through a tequila company, Casa El Viejo Luis Distribuidora. This tequila company and its two parent companies, Grupo Comercial Rool and Rancho El Nuevo Pachon, used a German-based distribution company, ROOL Europe, to smuggle narcotics into the U.S. This complex drug trafficking network was managed by Los Güeros, a Guadalajara-based criminal organization. It was sanctioned under the Kingpin Act in September 2013.
The US authorities identified the Rodríguez Olvera brothers as the main operators of this cartel: Daniel, Esteban, Luis and Miguel Rodríguez Olivera. The first two were arrested and extradited. A judge from the Eastern District of New York sentenced them for drug trafficking and money laundering when they found that they were in charge of trafficking cocaine through this tequila company.
CJNG and tequila
Two years later, when the CJNG began to be a priority for the US government due to the growth and power it achieved in a short span of time, the USDT detected one more tequila company in their money laundering network: Onze Black. This company was blacklisted under the Kingpin Act in 2015 for being part of the network of companies of Los Cuinis, the financial branch of the CJNG.
|Onze Black, the tequila firm owned by the CJNG’s branch Los Cuinis|
Last February, Jéssica Oseguera, the daughter of CJNG’s leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, was arrested in the United States and singled out for being in charge of managing CJNG businesses, including vacation cabins, restaurants and tequila shops.
On June 2, the UIF froze 1,770 personal bank accounts, 167 for business accounts and two trusts linked to the CJNG, as reported by Borderland Beat. The UIF did not disclose the amount of the frozen accounts but said that they noticed suspicious transactions totaling US$1 billion.
When speaking of Mexican drug cartels, it is impossible not to mention Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. He was also linked to the tequila industry.
|Drinks with El Chapo’s face|
After El Chapo met in secrecy with actress Kate del Castillo, Mexico’s former Attorney General’s Office (PGR) investigated Tequila Honor, a company owned by del Castillo, to trace whether there was any link with her and El Chapo. The PGR did this because del Castillo confirmed to investigators that she gave El Chapo a bottle tequila she was planning to launch to market.
However, no illicit financing was found with this tequila company. But it was not until February of this year when Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar, one of El Chapo’s daughters, launched “Tequila 701” with El Chapo’s facial image along with a clothing line. This tequila was distributed only in Jalisco.
Sources: Milenio; USDT; OFAC