|Suspects in world's largest drug-money seizure charged with on trafficking, organized crime counts
June 16th, 2007
MEXICO CITY: Eleven suspects linked to the world's largest drug cash seizure were charged with drug trafficking and organized crime, and have been taken to Mexico's highest-security prisons, prosecutors announced.
The suspects had been under house arrest pending formal charges since the March 15 raid on a luxury home in Mexico City, where police found more than US$207 million (€155 million) hidden inside walls, suitcases and closets.
Prosecutors say the money was linked to illicit trade in pseudoephedrine, a controlled "precursor" chemical often used to make methamphetamine.
The home was the residence of Zhenli Ye Gon, who, like five of the 11 suspects, is Chinese, and who prosecutors say illegally imported n-acetyl pseudoephedrine. He remains at large; some of those charged Friday are related to him.
Some of the 11 suspects were also charged with weapons possession and money laundering, the Attorney General's Office said in a press statement Friday.
At the time of the raid in March, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Karen Tandy, said in a statement that it was "the largest single drug-cash seizure the world has ever seen." U.S. and Mexican authorities had cooperated on the case.