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Mexican Drug Cartels Launders Over $25 Billion Per Year Via Bitcoin

It's now in black and white that cryptocurrency is the most common way of transaction in the underworld.

This is not to mean that there were no illegal Drug Cartel operations before 2009, but the introduction of Bitcoin has taken it to a whole new level. According to law enforcement authorities, Mexican drug cartels launder over $25 billion per year through Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency has strongly developed as a new front in the purchase and sale of drugs. This is one of the reasons as to why the fight against illegal drug dealings and drug cartels has been a daunting task.

Cryptocurrency and anonymity

Mexican authorities report that most of the country’s top drug cartels have now resorted to using BTC to facilitate their unlawful operations. Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are various forms of digital currencies. Their accounts are also privately controlled and not easily traceable, making related transactions more private. The anonymity of these digital coins therefore makes them a perfect target for criminal gangs. It’s therefore not a surprise that cryptocurrencies found their way into the dangerous realm of cartels.


Infact, word has been going round that El Chapo Guzman is the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto behind the creation of Bitcoin. Guzman is one of the most renowned Mexican drug dealers who reportedly bagged billions of dollars through illegal trade. He was one of the first people to trade drugs through cryptocurrency so there’s some probability that he came up with such an idea to help him evade the authorities.

Major Mexican cartels and how they use BTC to evade the radar

Mexico is one of the most controversial countries in Latin America. Sitting at the southern extremity of North America and bordered to the north by the USA, Mexico is more known to be a hub of drug trade than it’s known to be a land of extremes, with high mountains and deep canyons in the center of the country. Some of the known drug cartels in Mexico are the Guadalajara Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, Juárez Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel.


According to a report released by The United Nations Office on Drug and crimes, Mexican cartels launder more than $25 billion in cryptocurrency every year. For example, The Jalisco and Sinaloa Cartel use small online bitcoin purchases to help circumvent money-laundering regulations. One trick they use is dividing the drug proceeds into little payments to avoid detection. They thus use those account’s to buy a succession of small amounts of BTC, concealing the source of the funds.


Read more about money laundering here!


Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay


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