HomeNewsBriefSinaloa Cartel Bought Narco Plane Via HSBC Bank
BRIEF

Sinaloa Cartel Bought Narco Plane Via HSBC Bank

MEXICO / 14 DEC 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The Sinaloa Cartel reportedly used its HSBC bank accounts to transfer money for the purchase of a turboprop aircraft, painting a picture of the kind of financial transactions the cartel was able to carry out, thanks to lax international banking controls. 

According to a report by Mexico's Attorney General's Office which is apparently based partly on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) findings and was seen by national newspaper El Universal, the Sinaloa Cartel bought the Super King 200 aircraft in 2007. It was later seized by Mexican authorities in December 2007 in the capital of Morelos state, in central Mexico. At the time the security forces said it had been used to transport a nearly two ton cocaine shipment from Venezuela to Mexico. 

The dollars used to purchase the plane were originally deposited by two front companies -- Grupo Rahero SC and Grupo ETPB -- in two HSBC accounts in the Cayman Islands. The cash was then transferred to another US-registered company, Insured Aircraft Title Service Inc., in  Oklahoma City.

InSight Crime Analysis 

HSBC has faced an in-depth investigation into how its lax regulations allowed Mexican criminal groups like the Sinaloa Cartel to launder billions of dollars. According to El Universal, documents presented to the federal court in the Eastern District of New York, which is handling the lawsuit against the British bank, include a particularly damning affirmation by HSBC's Mexico CEO. The CEO reportedly says he has heard a recording of a drug trafficker calling HSBC Mexico "the best place to launder money." 

The purchase of the aircraft later seized in Morelos is just one example of the transactions that the Sinaloa Cartel were likely able to carry out, thanks to the bank's weak enforcement of regulations. El Universal reports that the aircraft was one of 13 purchased by the Sinaloa Cartel, used to ship cocaine between South and Central America. The cartel ended up transferring close to $13 million to 14 aircraft companies based in the US. 

The HSBC lawsuit recently culminated with a $1.9 billion settlement

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

MEXICO / 20 MAR 2014

A new report from a leading think tank takes a detailed look at Mexico's security agenda under President Enrique…

CYBERCRIME / 10 APR 2015

As Ecuador rolls out a cellphone-based digital currency in the coming months, a potential boon for 40 percent of the…

EL CHAPO / 9 SEP 2015

A new report alleges Guatemala's recently resigned president Otto Perez Molina accepted a bribe from Mexican drug lord Joaquin…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…