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Mexico seizes $15 million said to belong to cartel

November 22, 2011 |  2:34 pm

REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- More than $15 million has been seized in an upper-class neighborhood of Tijuana, one of the largest cash seizures by Mexican forces in the nation's nearly 6-year-old drug war, authorities said.

The cash was found Friday in a vehicle searched by Mexican soldiers and marines in the Cumbres de Juarez district of the border city. Investigators believe the cache of U.S. currency belongs to the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Mexican government said in a statement posted Tuesday (link in Spanish).

The cash totaled $15.4 million. In addition, troops seized nearly 7 pounds of cocaine, four weapons, and jewelry. Another large cash seizure also apparently hit the financial network of the powerful Sinaloa organization when Mexican soldiers found more than $26 million in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, on Sept. 14, 2008.

In March 2007, Mexico's federal police seized $207 million in cash in the Mexico City mansion belonging to a Chinese-Mexican entrepreneur named Zhenli Ye Gon, in a case tied to allegations of methamphetamine production.


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Photo: Police display the $15.4 million seized in Tijuana during a news conference in Mexico City on Tuesday. Credit: Mario Guzman / European Pressphoto Agency