Is kingpin ‘El Chapo’s’ time running out with Mexico’s July election?
This week the U.S. Treasury Office moved to tighten the economic noose on one of the “World’s Most Wanted” kingpins Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four key Sinaloa Cartel operatives, including two of “El Chapo’s” sons. The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) prohibits U.S. citizens from conducting business with the four Sinaloa designees. The U.S. Treasury also froze any assets located in U.S. jurisdiction. Officials said the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided critical information to the Treasury ensuring the Sinaloa Cartel remains under the Kingpin Act. “In order to put organizations like the Sinaloa Cartel out of business, we must continue to utilize every tool available to ensure that these criminal groups and their associates cannot exploit the U.S. financial system,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis. “DEA is attacking the Sinaloa Cartel and other organizations at every level like never before, so they are put out of business and their leaders are brought to justice.” OFAC has named Sinaloa operatives and sons of “El Chapo,” Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Ovidio Guzman Lopez for their roles in the family drug trafficking business. The DEA said Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar was arrested and subsequently released by Mexican authorities in 2005 for money laundering. And his brother, Ovidio Guzman Lopez, has been named and is suspected of numerous Sinaloa Cartel trafficking activities. Another Kingpin Act designee, Noel Salgueiro Nevarez is believed to be the head of the Sinaloa Cartel in the Mexican state of Chihuahua where a bloody turf war continues to rage. Nevarez remains in Mexican custody since his October 2011 arrest. Finally Ovidio Limon Sanchez is considered another Sinaloa operative. He too, remains in Mexican custody after his November 2011 arrest. Additionally, in 2009, a jury in the U.S. District for the Central District of California returned a drug trafficking indictment against Ovidio Limon Sanchez. “OFAC will aggressively target those individuals who facilitate ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s drug trafficking operations, including family members,” said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. “With the Government of Mexico, we are firm in our resolve to dismantle ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s drug trafficking organization.” The kingpin himself, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel have been identified by the U.S. as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively. So far, OFAC has designated more than 1,000 businesses and individuals linked to 94 drug kingpins since its inception in June 2000. Penalties for Kingpin Act violations range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation and face additional criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers can bring 30 years in prison with $5 million in fines. Criminal fines for corporations doing business with designees can reach $10 million. For more details regarding the Treasury’s Kingpin Act click this link. For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.