Biggest drug cash seizure increases to €154m

The world’s largest drug cash seizure got bigger by nearly €1.2m today, when the Mexican Attorney General’s office said 17.3 million pesos (€1.2m) had been found in a luxury home, not the 157,500 (€10,700) originally reported.

The world’s largest drug cash seizure got bigger by nearly €1.2m today, when the Mexican Attorney General’s office said 17.3 million pesos (€1.2m) had been found in a luxury home, not the 157,500 (€10,700) originally reported.

There was no explanation for the large discrepancy.

The new figure brings the total amount of cash seized in the Mexico City home to more than €159m, which includes $205.6m (€154m), €200,000 and the pesos.

On Monday, US Drug Enforcement Administration chief Karen Tandy said it was the largest drug-cash seizure “the world has ever seen”.

Officials said the main suspect, a Chinese man with Mexican citizenship, was also wanted by Interpol on drug charges.

Prosecutors say Zhenli Ye Gon ran one of the hemisphere’s largest networks for trafficking pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in methamphetamines.

He allegedly used the front company, Unimed Pharm Chem de Mexico SA, to import large quantities of the ingredients needed to make methamphetamines from India and Germany.

Governments agents seized the cash, eight luxury vehicles, seven weapons and a machine to make pills during a raid last week at a house in Lomas de Chapultepec, a neighbourhood of walled compounds that is home to ambassadors and business magnates. Seven people were arrested.

The money was hidden in walls, closets and suitcases.

Since the US cracked down on the mass sale of cold medicines used to make methamphetamines, Mexico has become one of the world’s largest producers of the synthetic drug.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox