This is the English translation of an article published on the website “Sin Embargo”. A link to the original article is here.
PART TWO: The files that link Monex to the money laundering of international organized crime
The Inspection Unit of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) determined on January 21 that although Enrique Peña Nieto distributed money with Monex cards in the 2012 campaign (he ordered a sum of 50 million 8 thousand pesos plus campaign), the PRI did not use illegal resources or exceed campaign expenses. This set fire to the opposition parties, which question how it was possible for the organ not to find evidence of illegal resources. Perhaps the answer is in Monex, a financial company that has a strong experience in money laundering, as documents and files held by SinMargo maintain …
July 11, 2012. The IFE president, Leonardo Valdez Zurita, accompanied by his 8 advisers and the secretary general, announced that he received 4,200 presidential campaign expenses reports and 63 complaints about irregularities. Valdés Zurita said then that the IFE did not have the powers to punish or punish political parties. The IFE received reports of the Monex case, for the use of Soriana cards, for the excess of spectacular and trips to Miami by Enrique Peña Nieto. In the end, the electoral authority would determine the “innocence” of the PRI and Monex.
PART Two: | See Part One here
Mexico City, Feb 6 (SinEmbargo) .- The following is the sworn word of Colombian drug trafficker Mauricio Bernal Palacios and contained in the letter MX-08-179, issued in 2008 by the US Embassy in Mexico regarding the movements of the money earned from flooding Madrid and Barcelona with Colombian cocaine:
“The foreign transfers were sent from several banks in Spain to Union Bank in California. Most of the drug profits were channeled through two exchange houses called Intercam Casa de Cambio and Monex. Pablo [Lorenzo Ampudia, Mexican drug trafficker] had several companies that sent money to Intercam and Monex, approximately 100 million dollars went through these exchange offices in 2004. “
This document is contained in the proceedings against Guillermo Ocaña, a financial operator of the Beltrán Leyva who used Monex in particular to launder capital obtained in Europe by the cartel. However, he has a complete copy of the file.
These are the data that detail how money laundering took place, how it came from the narco and how Monex was used -and allowed to be used-.
Another aspect attracts attention. Intercam is a house of exchange founded and presided over by Luis Esteve de Murga, a political relative of Fernando Gómez Mont, Secretary of the Interior of Mexico at the time when the Beltrán Leyva turned his company into a money laundering shop.
THE COLUMBIAN GROUP
On April 1, 2008, the US Embassy in Mexico issued an official letter related to the operation of drug traffickers in Colombia, Mexico, Spain and the United States.
This document is especially important because it contains the statement of the Colombian Mauricio Bernal Palacios once he was extradited to the United States.
Mauricio started his drug business with two of his countrymen, Javier Arias Búfalo and Gino Maglioni, with whom he based in Mexico City in an association known as “The Colombian Group.”
Javier Arias had guaranteed the supply of the substance with a contact of his in Cali, Colombia, named Carlos Bernal, a person with no relationship whatsoever with Mauricio, other than the international business that they would undertake. Carlos had the necessary infrastructure to send speedboats to any Mexican coast. Along the Atlantic coast they would arrive near the Yucatan Peninsula and, along the Pacific, at a point three and a half kilometers distant between the beaches of Acapulco, Guerrero, and Huatulco, Oaxaca.
Carlos Bernal had a Mexican partner who would be responsible for transporting the coca from the Mexican sea to Mexico City with a 20 percent charge paid, always in kind. In the Federal District, the drug was returning to Colombian hands that Arias paid in cash.
In January 2001, Mauricio Bernal met Francisco José Antón Pérez, money launderer for years, at a party in Mexico City. According to the investigations, Mauricio put him in charge of the purchase of Casa de Cambio Intercontinental, which he renamed Ribadeo, perhaps in reference to a Spanish town so called in Galicia.
Under its previous name, the financial group had the collaboration of Rodolfo David Dávila Córdova, former Bank of Mexico official imprisoned for being alleged financial brain of the Juarez Cartel. With the new nomenclature, Ribadeo, the firm would wash at least 236 million euros, about 4 thousand 200 million pesos.
Some time later, in January 2004, Pérez contacted Mauricio Bernal, according to him, to present Pablo Lorenzo Ampudia Bernal, a Mexican trafficker who claimed to have a safe route to Spain via Barcelona.
-Do you have a buyer in Spain? Anton asked Bernal at the meeting.
“I have an acquaintance, but I have to consult with him first,” replied the Colombian.
The organization was composed by Bernal, Ampudia, Pérez, Arias and Maglioni -at the beginning, the real owner of the Spanish contact-. Elizondo did not have to invest any money to buy cocaine; his investment was safe transportation and delivery in Spain. Once sold there, the profits were distributed in this way: Ampudia and his group received half and the rest was divided equally by the true owners of the drug at prices in Spain, then 19 thousand euros per kilo.
At some point, Antón Pérez, who was responsible for 2 million euros belonging to Ampudia, informed the organization that the money had been lost or stolen in Spain. In October 2004, another carrier related to Pérez was arrested at the Madrid airport while trying to leave for Mexico with 800 thousand euros, also owned by Ampudia, who was beginning to lose patience.
At the same time, the Spanish police learned about the new repertoire of Colombians, Mexicans and Spaniards converting dust into silver then washed through Mexican financial entities. It is said of the drug dealer Mauricio Bernal and how his money was moving:
“The foreign transfers were sent from several banks in Spain to Union Bank in California. Most of the drug profits were channeled through two exchange houses called Intercam Casa de Cambio and Monex. Pablo (Lorenzo Ampudia, Mexican drug dealer) had several companies that sent money to Intercam and Monex, approximately 100 million dollars went through these exchange houses in 2004. “
THE OPERATION TACOS
July 18. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, then candidate of the Progressive Movement, along with Jesús Zambrano of the PRD, disclose transfer operations to the Monex prepaid cards. Photo: Cuartoscuro
Many of the details are included in an official Spanish document dated March 31, 2008 and signed by Jesús Espigares Mira, then added by the interior ministry of the Spanish embassy in Mexico.
The paper detailed four years of work of the “Operation Tacos”, as the Spaniards called the mess of euros, coca and Mexicans in their country.
In October 2004, Spanish police obtained information about a suspicious banking operation carried out by five Mexicans through Ribadeo Casa de Cambio.
The common feature of their accounts, all open in Madrid branches, was on the one hand the receipt of significant amounts of cash in euros, highlighting in all cases false bills and, on the other, the abandonment of transfers originated in Barcelona from accounts titled by companies with instrumental character.
The investigation showed that they had as a common denominator their apparent link to the real estate sector and that they were under the control of the Mexican Guillermo Francisco Ocaña Pradal and two others.
Ocaña -u Ocañita- was a familiar face. He was host of the variety television program “From mouth to mouth” and, years ago, according to the journalist Anabel Hernández in his book Los señores del narco (Grijalbo Mondadori 2010), he had represented Alejandra Guzmán, Juan Gabriel, Tania Libertad, Menudo, Gloria Trevi, Ricardo Arjona, Timbiriche, Kairo, Laura Leon and Magneto.
The group of washers that operated in Madrid used another method to release the cash received, the physical export, not declared or declared with false documentation by the Barajas Airport. Francisco José Antón, old friend of Ocaña, participated in this modality.
“With regard to the companies located in Barcelona and controlled by Guillermo Ocaña, it has been proven that through the accounts of these companies cash income has been made with the same characteristics previously mentioned for an amount greater than 78 million euros. , funds that were then followed by transfers abroad under the concept of Real Estate Investment “Cartera Tarraco” whose beneficiaries were mostly three exchange houses based in Mexico: Monex Casa de Bolsa, Monex Currency and Intercam Casa de Cambio.
“When it came to counting the figureheads, Guillermo Ocaña was accompanied on occasion by one Javier Cruz (a photocopy of Javier Jesús Cruz Muller’s passport appeared in the registry of the Ocaña address), who was presented as a representative in Spain of Monex Casa de Bolsa “, explained the Spanish diplomat in his letter.
In parallel, Spanish researchers had information provided by the DEA regarding the existence of a criminal organization existing in their country, but directed from Mexico by the Colombian Mauricio Bernal.
The large sums of money ignited the warning about the high probability of cocaine trafficking.
The part of the business dedicated to the sale of coca was directly related to a Catalan company recently acquired and renamed Marítima Istmo that, since the beginning of 2004, had made more than 40 imports from Mexico for a gross weight of more than 173 tons, all of them they with concept of “rubber manufactures for protection in boats and vehicles” and with destination to Barcelona airport. The sender was always the same, his Mexican winery Hulera Marítima Istmo.
Spanish police followed the trail a bit more and secured two tons of cocaine hidden in rubber fenders.
What happened when the Mexican authorities went to the address of Hulera Marítima Istmo in the colony Credit Constructor of the Benito Juárez Delegation?
The same thing that happened last year, recently, journalists went to ask about the companies that would also have stocked Monex so that the PRI would operate the election: nothing. Neither in the first nor in the second case did societies exist. In the case of money laundering product of the sale of cocaine there was actually the trade “Graffiti, design and advertising” and, in another office, a branch of Nextel.
The same situation was presented with two other companies used by drug traffickers, including a law firm. The only company that did exist during that wave of Monex searches, whose offices in Hamburg and Warsaw, in the Zona Rosa of the Federal District, were raided by the security forces. At that time, half of the last decade, the owners of Monex, a company accused of laundering money for the drug traffickers, were exactly the same as today, signaled by the opposition to launder money for the PRI.
On March 6, 2005, the Spanish authorities already knew that the Barcelona air terminal was one of the main points for the flight of euros in cash. This part of the operation, the silver movement, declared or not, was the direct responsibility of the Mexican brothers Hector Gerardo and José Arturo Ponce Medina, friends for decades of Guillermo Ocaña, and those who were around the world presenting themselves as businessmen of the cinema.
That day, the operators employed three sophisticated-looking women to transfer five and a half million euros that were confiscated. The cash was intended to be exported on a private flight chartered by them and had arrived in Barcelona three days before from Chicago. His itinerary was the Gander Airport, from Canada, from where he would continue to Los Angeles, city, according to the Spanish research, in which one of the Ribadeo branches is located. And also from Monex.
The matter generated high tension in the circuit of drug dealers, who showed their fangs and imposed on the transporters of the money the loss as a debt, together with other sums insured in the past.
They had to recover the money by legal means and to hire a good criminal commissioner they commissioned the main publirrelacionista of the group: Guillermo Ocaña. The television host had several conversations with those responsible for the cash in Mexico. In summary, he would be in charge of managing the recovery of the silver, which directly addressed, according to the Iberian government, with Javier Jesús Cruz Muller, Monex’s main official in Spain. (Supporting documents can be viewed on the original web article)
On March 5, 2002, Adriana – a man who became a police informant under that woman’s name – said she worked for the organization led by Mexican Pablo Lorenzo Ampudia and Colombian Ricardo Mauricio Bernal Palacios on the transfer side. and transport euros to Mexico. Many euros
Adriana has importance in this plot, because, in 2002, she met the man interested in buying the Intercontinental exchange house, José Francisco Antón Pérez. The business would change its name to Ribadeo, and reorient its turn to be, fundamentally, a money laundering.
Adriana was associated with the purchase of 10 percent of the shares, equivalent to 200 thousand dollars and participated in the architecture of the money laundering circuit.
– How much do you charge me for bringing money from Spain to Mexico City? – Ampudia was interested in Adriana. It was September 2003.
– Between eight and 10 percent – and that same month he made his first trip to Madrid, where he stayed at a hotel on the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, and then continued to Barcelona, where he waited for instructions from Ampudia at the Hotel Prestige. There he was contacted by another man who summoned him to the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia, where he gave him 2.6 million euros, some 45 million pesos.
Adriana spun the moments of three other trips, all successful and concluded with the delivery of bags in the office of Francisco José Antón Pérez, who in turn gave it to Pablo Ampudia, owner “of three properties in Las Brisas de Acapulco, an office in the street Masaryk de Polanco, a house in the Interlomas Golf Club, in Huixquilucan “.
To know all the details from the inside is that Adriana was reliable. He detailed how Guillermo Ocaña was physically and what contacts he packed for the organization. He said he was “people” of an Ampudia partner identified only in the file as El Tito, in charge of negotiating the transportation of the drug from Colombia to Mexico and “owner – declaration of December 2005 – of Finamex Casa de Cambio, located in the Paseo de la Reforma, near the Mexican Stock Exchange. “
In October 2003, Adriana returned to Spain, this time accompanied by José Antón. They met with Ocaña, whom the informant had known since the mid-nineties, since both already operated transfers with Monex. Adriana gave details:
“Guillermo Ocaña Pradal was the one who put together the structure to wash money from Europe to Mexico, for about two years, creating ghost companies in Spain; This person was representative of Televisa shows in Spain, which justified his presence in that nation.
“I learned that the promoter of Ocaña in Monex was a person named Javier Cruz, who did his transactions from Spain to Mexico with full knowledge that they were the product of illicit activities.”
The second time that Adriana and Guillermo met was in the Federal District, in the Ribadeo headquarters, in a new meeting with Antón. They talked about the accounts and how the money would go to Mexico, because at that time there were problems with Intercam and Monex.
Gómez Mont. Tangled relationships Photo: Cuartoscuro
Adriana also stated that Ampudia was the true owner of the money lost by the Ponce Medina brothers at the Barcelona airport, who did have an interest in using those profits in film projects and that, in addition, he was the owner of the key ghost corporation in this business, Hulera Marítima Istmo.
Adriana said something else: “Antón Pérez told me that they transported cocaine in cork cushions from Mexico to Barcelona, since Pablo Lorenzo Ampudia had bribes to all the authorities in Mexico and his compadre was head of Interpol Spain.
“Pablo Ampudia has been carrying and selling cocaine to Spain for approximately three or four years, obtaining an approximate profit of 40 million euros per month, which are sent to Mexico through financial movements, using the Ribadeo and Intercam exchange offices.”
Here it is necessary to open a parenthesis and jump some years in time and some articles in the penal code and make a momentary change of characters.
On July 9, 1992, Nicolás Caletri was no more than a thief with the only advantages of his recklessness and ambition. He was shortly after starting his career as one of the most prolific kidnappers in the country.
But on July 9, 1992, at half past eight at night, Caletri and another criminal of similar lineage entered a huge house in Chimalistac, south of Mexico City. María Teresa Gómez Mont saw the strangers coming by the corridor of her house and squeezed the arm of her brother-in-law, Luis Esteve de Murga.
-What do you want? – He asked as the bandits took out pistols and threatened them. One climbed Luis Esteve upstairs and the other ordered Teresa Gómez Mont to take him through the parts of the house where there was money and jewelry.
Soon the mother of the Gómez Mont arrived, who wanted to refuse to open the safe, but, in the face of the thieves’ determination to kill her, María Teresa gave instructions on how to do it, according to the criminal sentence handed down against Caletri and which, however, also has a copy.
“The amount of the stolen amounts to approximately 6 million pesos,” said María Teresa Gómez Mont, a PAN politician, like her brother, the criminal Fernando Gómez Mont, who would head the Ministry of the Interior between November 2008 and July 2010.
The political family of the Gómez Mont present during the assault, Luis Esteve de Murga, is, according to official information of the Association of Banks of Mexico, “founder and corporate vice president of Intercam Casa de Bolsa (…), advisor of Intercam Casa de Bolsa , Director of Intercam Seguros and of Surety, Board Member of Intercam Derivados, Board Member of Intercam Fondos and Vice President from 1999 to 2007 -the years of multimillionaire laundering of Ribadeo, Monex and Intercam- of the Mexican Association of Exchange Houses.
Intercam was involved in Operation Tacos for its relationship with two financial allies, Casa de Bolsa 14 and Casa de Bolsa Puebla, with which Intercam worked making transactions for a long time until the discovery of the irregularities of the agency with headquarters in the capital Puebla Operation Tacos exploded, too. Intercam was unmarked, but not Monex. “They continued for much longer,” says an executive who, at his request and under the argument of security reasons, is granted anonymity. Those were years in which the stockbrokers wanted to have on their business card the emblem of Monex because of the possibility, according to the same source, of specifying any business with any client.
“In Mexico there were these and many more that were being triangulated; at that time HSBC also abandoned the game, although later it returned and suffered the well-known fine. Monex is muddy until three or four years after 2004, at least. And the known thing is that the dealings with the Spanish companies were for 5 billion dollars in resources transferred triangulated, fractioned and reintegrated.
“Bank of America was also up to the neck, but in the United States they will never accept it, because if there is a culprit for these activities it is not only the individual who executes the crime, but the entire company and we would talk about City Bank or Bank of America, whichever you want, would be guilty of financing even terrorist activities and closing a large one is a huge gap to the entire financial system. The solution is to look for offenders, “says the source.
The Spanish companies that issued millions of euros to the Mexican exchange houses for Bank of America were, at least: Catalana; Deforast; Telematic Activities 2000 SL; Vivila; Exelegi Constructions, Gipuscuano Gremio; Waldos; Vicisa, and Olarca.
The suspicions arose from the evidence of large flows of money when, in almost all cases, there was no documentation of these signatures, that is, nothing justified their existence. They were ghosts. Some exchange houses overlooked this condition and Monex, Casa de Cambio 14 and Casa de Cambio Puebla did. The last two suffered the revocation of their permits after the scandal. Both were dollar trails to Joaquín Guzmán Loera and, just last year, he got a judge to order the resumption of operations, only to be evidenced as part of the HSBC money laundering circuit. But the protagonist of the Monexgate would remain and will once again remain intact.
If Antón paid his debts it is the least relevant, since he was executed in his house, in a rich residential complex of Huixquilucan, State of Mexico.
Ocaña denied the money laundering charges, but was also convicted for money laundering. He recognized his friendship with Javier Jesús Cruz Muller, an employee of the highest level for Casa de Cambio Monex in Spain, who for some time has been buying foreign currency for the payment of artists.
And this, his life in show business, is something that Guillermo Ocaña never gave up. That is why the authorities are certain that Colombian cocaine and Spanish money were the business of an old acquaintance, Héctor Beltrán Leyva “El H”, the current leader of the cartel that carries his surnames.
One of the keys was given by another protected witness, who was assigned the name of Julio. This man knows the Beltrán Leyva since the times when they were simple ambitious boys together with his cousin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Julio saw selling drugs, laundering money, ordering murders and burying his dead to “El Güero” Palma, “El Azul” Esparragoza Moreno, “El Mayo” Zambada and “Nachito” Coronel.
To Julio the authorities presented / displayed a passport to him under whose photography appeared the name of Alonso Rivera Muñoz, a dull industralist of northern accent that was seeing how to spend the money in Acapulco. But Julio clarified that that face is not another one but that of Héctor Beltrán Leyva, “El H”.
Few things wanted more in life the wife of “The H”, Clara Elena Laborín Archuleta to appear in society. I was looking for all the ways that her husband, whom I presented as Alonso Rivera, was at receptions, cocktails, parties. But that man did not soften his brow.
For that desire was that, when he met a man of the show and Televisa, in the nineties, decided to make his first company. This is how Guillermo Ocaña became a facilitator of anything for women, for example, as a guarantee in 2001 for the rent of an apartment in Residencial Country Club, in the richest area of Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, for 3,600 monthly dollars.
Guillermo Ocaña was a man of money and prestige. Their parties were a topic of conversation weeks after they happened. It was also a matter said here and there that Guillermo worked for Clara Elena and her husband, Alonso, a kind Sonoran business man always guarded by an escort.
Therefore, because Guillermo was an employee of “Alonso”, it is that the authorities hit the nail on the head that the beneficiary of coca trafficking and money laundering was Héctor Beltrán Leyva.
Because of that and because his wife Clara Elena wanted more than anything in the world to be admitted into society. In March 1999, the Sonoran woman asked Guillermo to organize the presentation of a spa owned by her at the Hyatt Hotel. They all had to be there, urged the woman of “Alonso”: media and “people from the middle”.
“Guillermo Ocaña went with her. Mrs. Clara Elena wanted to make it very ostentatious. Practically the purpose was to present them in society, because they (Clara and Alonso) nobody knew them, “said a publirrelacionista who hired for the organization of an event that, the more public, was better for the woman of” The H “But worse for your money launderer.
The opening was also attended by Sinaloa Lola Beltrtán, Karla Alemán, designer Héctor Terrones and Acapulco Mayor Manuel Añorve.
“There was the Baroness of Portanova and her husband; The one who was Ambassador of France, Bruno Delaye, came; the owners of the hotel, Messrs. Saba; Mrs. Lolita Ayala, Judge Margarita Sotomayor; the president of the patronage of Acasida, Mr. Esteban, mass media, in total they were like 650 people (sic), in my point of view, it has been one of the biggest events that I have attended in my life “, declared to the PGR Lucila Guillén, organizer and friend of Ocaña.
“El H”, withdrawn, distrustful, followed the party from afar.
There was one more character. And even that is what Monex and the present are like, the financing of the PRI campaign.
Among those invited to the presentation of the Beltrán Leyva spa was the comedian Eugenio Derbez, the same whose marriage, in the midst of the electoral conflict, broadcast Televisa as if it were a real wedding. And while the nuptials were taking place, thousands of protesters dissatisfied with the election demanded inside and outside the church to clarify the alleged electoral fraud in which they would have coincided Televisa and Monex.