- REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Documents from global law firm Mossack Fonseca leaked to journalists have linked the firm to two alleged money launderers and drug traffickers tied to notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
The two people in question – Marllory Chacón Rossell and Jorge Milton Cifuentes – have been linked to illegal activities led by Guzmán, who escaped from a Mexican prison but was recaptured in January.
Business Insider has not seen the leaked documents at issue, whichwere part of a massive trove of financial recordsrevealing the offshore holdings of public officials, businesspeople, and other celebrities.
Chacón, according to Univision, was accused of being the most active money launderer in Guatemala and of leading a cell of Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel.
The documents have revealed the involvement of Chacón in an offshore company set up by the law firm.
From late 2009 to 2010, Chacón was the president of a company called Broadway Commerce Inc., which was created by Mossack Fonseca. Over that same period, she laundered $4 million in drug proceeds in Central America, according to US authorities.
While allegations of her criminal activities were not public knowledge at the time, Univision notes that “a simple investigation” would have led the law firm to the questionable histories of two of her business partners. One of those partners confessed to drug trafficking and another was investigated for alleged financial misdeeds, according to Univision.
Chacón was later accused of illegal activities by US authorities. A grand jury in Florida filed an indictment accusing her of trafficking in August 2011, according to Univision. The following year the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) put her on its “black list” of suspected narcotraffickers.
She was “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America,” according to a Treasury statement cited by the BBC.
- US Treasury department
Chacón turned herself in to US authorities in September 2014 and pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges in December that year, according to InSight Crime.
She was sentenced in May 2015, reportedly receiving leniency for cooperating with authorities, according to McClatchy.
In addition to Chacón, Jorge Milton Cifuentes, a Colombian trafficker with extensive ties to Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel, also had dealings with the law firm, according to Mexican news site Aristegui Noticias and Mexico City-based magazine Proceso, both of which saw the leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca.
In 2007, Mossack Fonseca created a company that it later dissolved after OFAC connected it with Cifuentes, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.
Cifuentes, who was charged in the US, was the head of a Colombian family with deep ties to drug trafficking in that country. According to a US indictment, between 2003 and 2008 Guzmán and the Cifuentes family made agreements to produce, transport, and distribute cocaine.
- US Treasury Department
Between 2008 and 2011, Cifuentes “most likely has obtained and imported over 31,000 kilograms [68,343 pounds] of cocaine to the United States, and is purportedly the primary source of … cocaine for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico,” according to the US State Department.