FIU investigates arms trafficking at Mexicali customs
The FIU filed complaints with the FGR against Mexicali customs agents on suspicion of having ties to organized crime.
At the center of the investigations is the customs agent Roberto Ruiz Armas, who allegedly deliberately allowed weapons to enter.
Mexico City / 07.06.2020 22:58:06
The Financial Intelligence Unit investigates a network of officials that has turned customs in Mexicali, Baja California, into the main passage of weapons and "chocolate" cars from the United States to Mexico.
At the center of the investigations is the customs agent Roberto Ruiz Armas, who allegedly deliberately allowed his entry and granted hundreds of irregular permits for the transfer; According to the data collected by the FIU, the money in their bank accounts grew exponentially.
A few weeks ago, the corresponding complaints were filed and their bank accounts were blocked on suspicion of having links to organized crime, the head of the FIU, Santiago Nieto, told MILENIO.
"It is the hypothesis that we have, once the judge determines what, according to the law, we will have the legal truth, however, the Financial Intelligence Unit can freeze accounts and can file complaints with indicative elements, which is what works within our reach since we do not have the proper investigatory power, "he said.
FGR links three for alleged possession of firearms FGR links three for alleged possession of firearms They assure drugs, weapons and tactical equipment in Zihuatanejo Drugs and weapons were secured during an operation. (Javier Trujillo)
On July 2, 2013, the agreement with which he was granted the customs agent patent 1656 was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Thus, since the middle of the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto, he arrived at the customs office in Mexicali and continued in the current government until the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Tax Administration Service (SAT) hand in hand with complaints from car sales companies in the north of the country found the network of vehicles known as "chocolate" that later uncovered the arms trafficking.
According to data from the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry, in the first quarter of 2019 alone, 350,000 irregular vehicles entered Mexico. These complaints led to the detection that this agent also “deliberately” allowed illegal arms to enter the country in recent years.
Last year, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard explained that 70 percent of crimes committed in Mexico are carried out with weapons of American origin that would have entered the country illegally.
Given this alert, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Santiago Nieto, pointed out that in the high-level group on security matters, the subgroup focused on money laundering considered trafficking in arms, money and drugs as one of the main problems to combat in this administration.
It was as well as starting from the complaints of the automotive industry began the tracking of the movements of customs agents, where Ruiz Armas stood out for the increase in his income despite not having a salary increase as a Customs official.
“When we have any unusual financial movement, we are reported to. He had unusual movements and we will be waiting for the authorities in other areas of the Mexican state to determine, "added Nieto Castillo.
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As for the chocolate cars, the head of the FIU pointed out that they generate "not only a problem of a fiscal nature but also one of the environment and security, and there was enormous permissibility on the part of that customs agency for its introduction."
He said that once the complaints against this agent were filed, the next step "has to be to review all the customs agents to avoid acts of corruption being committed."
He explained that thanks to the work with the SAT and the new direction of Customs in charge of Horacio
Barrett 50 rifles, preferred by criminal groups like the Sinaloa Cartel , are considered by weapons experts to be "the most powerful rifle in the world."
This 50-caliber weapon pierces cement, thick armored structures, and can even shoot down aircraft, as happened in Michoacán, when criminals dropped a police helicopter.
It is a weapon with a weight of 4 kilos, 1.5 meters long and a muzzle velocity of up to 854 meters per second. It shoots 70 bullets per minute with a range of 2,500 meters.
During the "Fast and Furious" operation in which United States authorities illegally introduced hundreds of large-caliber weapons to Mexico and placed them in the hands of organized crime, several Barrett 50 rifles were among them.
It is known that its use is widespread among members of the crime, not only due to episodes with the justice system, but also due to the seizures that are carried out, since up to six of these rifles have been seized per month.
Due to its high power, the Barrett 50 is the criminals' favorite rifle, since it allows them to fight the Army with weapons that are closed to them.
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