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

CHAPITOS / 9 JAN 2023

Mexico has arrested one of El Chapo's sons, Ovidio, at a bitter cost. But will it make a difference to…

COCAINE / 13 JAN 2023

Dutch authorities have seized three Mexican drug loads at Schiphol Airport, marking a new trafficking trend for Europe.

COCAINE / 17 JAN 2023

The trial of Mexico’s former top public security official will reveal shortcomings in the fight against organized crime.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…