It’s no surprise that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have found their way into the dangerous realm of drug cartels.
Cryptocurrency is emerging as a new front in Latin America’s fight against gangs vying for control of huge illicit markets in sex, drugs, guns, law enforcement officials, say cryptocurrency. fire and people.
In Mexico, it has been reported that several of the country’s most prominent drug cartels are increasingly using bitcoin to fund their illegal activities.
Deadly criminal organizations
The Sinaloa Cartel and the Next Generation Jalisco Cartel are two such feared organizations.
According to Insight Crime, the Sinaloa Cartel, often referred to as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere, is an alliance of some of Mexico’s top capos.
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Members of the alliance work cooperatively to defend themselves, leveraging contacts at the highest level and manipulating elements of the federal police and military to maintain an edge over their rivals.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, formerly known as Los Mata Zetas, is a semi-militarized Mexican criminal organization based in Jalisco and led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, one of the world’s most wanted drug lords.
Drug lords use Bitcoin to fly under the radar
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said Mexican cartels allegedly laundered around $25 billion a year through bitcoin, the internet and e-commerce.
In a report released Friday by the International Narcotics Control Board, cartels in Jalisco and Sinaloa are increasingly using small online bitcoin purchases to circumvent money laundering regulations.
After dividing drug proceeds into small payments to avoid detection, cartels use these accounts to purchase a succession of small amounts of bitcoin online, concealing the source of the funds and allowing them to pay associates around the world. integer, says the report.
BTC total market cap at $734.26 billion on the weekend chart | Source: TradingView.com
US Drug Enforcement Administration representative Raul Martin del Campo told AFP in Mexico City:
“The INCB “issues a red alert for countries to reach an agreement and consider how to better regulate this payment system (cryptocurrency)”.
The allegations come just a week after US President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating the government to study the dangers and benefits of creating a central bank digital dollar, along with other cryptocurrency concerns.
Human Trafficking and Bitcoin
In April 2019, Mexican authorities arrested human trafficker Ignacio Santoyo in an upscale section of the Caribbean resort town of Playa del Carmen after linking him to a prostitution ring operating across Latin America.
Yet it wasn’t the 2,000 women Santoyo is accused of blackmailing and sexually exploiting that ultimately led to his arrest, authorities said, but the bitcoin he’s suspected of using to help launder money. proceeds of his crimes.
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The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is the independent, quasi-judicial United Nations monitoring body responsible for the implementation of the international drug control treaties.
It was founded in 1968 to implement the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.
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