HomeNewsBriefTop Money Launderer for 'El Chapo' Captured in Mexico
BRIEF

Top Money Launderer for 'El Chapo' Captured in Mexico

EL CHAPO / 28 MAR 2016 BY SAM TABORY EN

Authorities in Mexico captured an alleged top money launderer for Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, but his arrest is unlikely to have a significant impact on the criminal organization's drug trafficking operations and revenue streams. 

On March 27, Mexican Federal Police announced via Twitter the capture of Juan Manuel Álvarez Inzunza, alias "El Rey Midas." In addition to working for El Chapo, authorities say Álvarez Inzunza laundered drug money for fellow Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael Zambada García, alias "El Mayo," reported El Universal

Authorities estimate that Álvarez Inzunza laundered between $300 and $400 million annually for the Sinaloa Cartel, which comes out to more than $4 billion over the last decade. Álvarez Inzunza was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant for money laundering charges issued by a US District Court Judge in Washington, DC. He was captured in the southern state of Oaxaca while on vacation with his family.

In an official statement following the arrest, federal authorities said they are able to link the presumed Sinaloa Cartel operator to a money laundering network with domestic links to the cities of Tijuana, Culiacán and Guadalajara and with international links to Colombia, Panama and the United States. Álvarez Inzunza allegedly used shell businesses and currency exchange houses in the states of Jalisco and Sinaloa to launder illicit funds. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

Although authorities have identified Álvarez Inzunza as a top financial operator for the Sinaloa Cartel, it's doubtful his arrest will jeopardize the financial viability of a criminal organization widely considered to be the most prolific drug trafficking network in the Western Hemisphere.

The cartel functions more as a horizontal network of federated cells than a vertically integrated organization. This business model enables the cartel to run its operations with relative stability and avoid volatility following the arrest of a high-ranking figure. Even El Chapo's capture in February 2014, the world's most wanted drug trafficker at the time, barely made a dent in the cartel's revenue streams.

SEE ALSO:  Sinaloa Cartel News and Profiles

In fact, the biggest consequence of Álvarez Inzunza's arrest might only be seen if and when he is extradited to the United States. Prosecutors could offer him a reduced sentence in exchange for valuable intelligence information on the cartel's financial structure and drug trafficking operations.

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

CARTEL DE SINALOA / 22 OCT 2020

The walls have now been patched up. There is nothing left on the streets but dust; customers are ready to…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 OCT 2021

Business partners of Álex Saab have been indicted by US prosecutors on charges of being part of a multi-million dollar…

EL CHAPO / 23 FEB 2021

The indictment of the wife of convicted Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has revealed her alleged role…

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…