Suspected money launderer for Mexico’s ‘El Chapo’ arrested

Juan Manuel Alvarez said to be ‘principal financial operator’ for drug trafficking group

Drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City’s airport on January 8th, 2016 following his recapture during a military operation in Los Mochis, Sinaloa State. Photograph: Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images.

Drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City’s airport on January 8th, 2016 following his recapture during a military operation in Los Mochis, Sinaloa State. Photograph: Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images.

 

A man suspected of laundering money for jailed Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was detained in the southwest of the country, and faces extradition to the US, Mexican authorities have said.

Juan Manuel Alvarez, who was arrested in Oaxaca state, has ties to an international money-laundering network that spans Mexico, Colombia, Panama and the United States, police said.

A separate statement from Mexico’s National Security Commission, which coordinates security forces, said Alvarez is sought over money laundering allegations in the United States.

Describing him as the “principal financial operator” for an undisclosed drug trafficking group, the statement said he headed another criminal organisation that operates mainly in the western Mexican state of Jalisco.

That state is home to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNG), whose gunmen shot down an army helicopter in the state last May, claiming the lives of six military personnel. The JNG have historic ties to Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel.

Guzman, who escaped twice from Mexican maximum-security prisons, was recaptured in Mexico in January and is seeking to speed up his extradition to the United States in the hope he will be treated better in prison there.

As head of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman is accused of leading a bloody war against rival gangs and smuggling vast quantities of illegal drugs into the United States.

Reuters