HomeNewsBriefOFAC Blacklists Oil Subcontractor for Zetas Links
BRIEF

OFAC Blacklists Oil Subcontractor for Zetas Links

MEXICO / 31 AUG 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The US Treasury Department has placed sanctions against an oil services subcontractor accused of laundering money for the Zetas, offering a glimpse into the kinds of legitimate businesses used to cover the criminal group’s dirty profits.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) enforced sanctions against ADT Petroservicios, an oil subcontractor based in Veracruz state owned by Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa.

Colorado was arrested in June in Texas for assisting the Zetas with another money laundering scheme: buying race horses, as part of a multi-million dollar conspiracy that involved training, breeding, and racing quarter horses in the US. Colorado was previously blacklisted by the OFAC as a specially designated drug trafficker.

According to the company website, ADT Petroservicios was established in 2001 and specializes in waste management and cleanup projects for the oil business.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to Proceso, ADT Petroservicios had significant business dealings with state oil company Pemex. These include 28 contracts with an estimated worth of 1.4 billion pesos (about $105 million) since 2005. The OFAC blacklisting could potentially prompt further probes in Mexico about Pemex’s dealings with Colorado’s company. The Zetas have been signaled as the Mexican criminal group most deeply involved with stealing oil from Pemex for profit.

When the New York Times first reported on the Zetas’ involvement in US race horse breeding as a means to disguise their illicit profits, it revealed the Zetas’ capacity to coordinate such an intricate money laundering scheme. For a group that is usually characterized as a menace due to its capacity for brutal violence, the horse racing story was a reminder that the Zetas also have brains for doing business, and are not just about brawn. That the Zetas used ADT Petroservicios as a means to conceal their dirty proceeds is also indicative of the group’s capacity to establish footholds in a legitimate industry as closely scrutinized as the oil business.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 9 FEB 2021

In 1989, Los Angeles police transformed Europe's cocaine trade when they broke open a padlock guarding a Californian warehouse.

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 OCT 2020

Prosecutors in Guatemala say they have linked a multimillion-dollar cash seizure to a high-ranking minister that served under former President…

HOMICIDES / 7 FEB 2022

Stopping near their target, one of the criminals stays on the vehicle while the other jumps off, shoots the victim…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…