International drug traffickers have long used people as mulors to smuggle their products abroad, but a massive bust in Colombia…
International drug traffickers have long used people as mulors to smuggle their products abroad, but a massive bust in Colombia suggests that they now use the same method to get their dirty money home.
On Thursday, the Colombian authorities at Bogota International Airport arrested 27 people accused of swallowing wads of cash and bringing them into the South American nation from Mexico. The money, sent by Mexican drug cartels, was intended to pay Colombian gangs for cocaine.
The authorities said mules often cooled up to 1
20 pellets of cash, with five $ 100 in each latex capsule. A typical entry would hide and move $ 40,000 per person, but investigators said they had previously captured someone with $ 75,000 in their system.
The United States Immigration and Customs Administration (IS) assisted with the operation that broke Thursday’s smuggling ring
Mulor, usually paid around $ 1500 for its services, would have been taken to a hotel while they were waiting to send the cash. Officials said that cartels often hire young unemployed men and women to spend their money.
The gloomy exercise is more commonly associated with cocaine, which can lead to death to the mullet about the capsule tears. Some mules are sent unknowingly with the intention of being arrested, which provides protection for other passengers by distracting authorities.
Thursday’s bust marked connections between Mexican and Colombian drug bands that long shared mutual business interests. Colombian criminal groups, including left-wing rebels as the National Liberation Army and dissidents of the now-demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia (Farc), control cocaine production while Mexican cartels handle the drug’s further passage to the United States.
Colombia is the world’s premier cocaine producer, with a record estimate of 1,379 tonnes last year – an increase of 31% in 2016 – according to a recent UN report.