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Drug Money - Analysis

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IN MARCH 2007, in what was described by one U.S. official as "law enforcement hitting the ultimate jackpot," Mexican federal agents raided the Mexico City mansion of an individual connected with UNIMED, a Hong Kong pharmaceutical company believed to be supplying chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine. The officers arrested seven suspects and confiscated $207 million in cash, documenting the entire operation with photographs.

Government officials said the money, the bulk of which was in U.S. dollars, was found hidden throughout the house in cupboards, suitcases, and behind walls. Weapons, vehicles, and drug-making equipment were also seized.

The raid was conducted using information supplied in part by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Both governments touted the raid as evidence of successful of U.S.-Mexico cooperation in the war on narco-trafficking.

Coincidentally, a few days later the DEA and U.S. Coast Guard accomplished the largest maritime seizure of cocaine in history — approximately 19 metric tons (43,000 pounds) — in waters off the coast of Panama.

(Original image source: Procuraduría General de la República, Mexico)

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Sources and further reading:

$207 Million in Drug Money Seized in Mexico City
DEA press release, 20 March 2007

Largest Cash Seizure in History Product of U.S.-Mexico Counter-Narcotics Cooperation
Mexican Embassy press release, 20 March 2007

Mexican Police in $205m Cash Haul
BBC News, 16 March 2007

World's Largest Drug Cash Seizure Larger than Originally Announced
Associated Press, 22 March 2007

DEA, Coast Guard Make Record Maritime Cocaine Seizure
DEA press release, 21 March 2007

Last updated: 06/28/07

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