UN findings revealed that Mexico-based drug mafias are said to have washed roughly $25 billion per year via Bitcoin, the internet, and e-commerce. In the report released recently by the International Narcotics Control Board, the cartels namely Jalisco and Sinaloa have increased their buying spree by utilizing small online bitcoin purchases to evade regulations.
The report further stated that these cartels use drug proceeds to purchase small quantities of bitcoin in succession online while hiding the source in order to enable them to pay associates worldwide.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration representative Raul Martin del Campo stated:
“The INCB is issuing a red alert for countries to come to an agreement and consider how to better regulate this [cryptocurrency] payment system.”
The recent developments come close to the heels after United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring the government to study the dangers and benefits of creating a central bank digital dollar, as well as other cryptocurrency-related concerns.
Mexico safe haven for criminals
In Mexico, it has been reported that several of the country’s most prominent drug cartels are increasingly using bitcoin to finance their criminal activities. The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel are two of these notorious organizations.
According to Insight Crime, the Sinaloa Cartel is often called the Western Hemisphere’s largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization. Its Members work together and form an alliance to defend themselves, leveraging contacts at the highest levels and manipulating elements of the federal police and military to keep an edge over rivals.
In April 2019, Mexican authorities detained accused human trafficker Ignacio Santoyo in a posh section of the Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen after establishing a link between him and a prostitution ring operating throughout Latin America. Authorities also suspect that the accused kingpin is using bitcoin to help launder the proceeds of his crimes.
The Latin American nation is currently lined up to legalize Bitcoin after El Salvador. Last month, Indira Kempis, Senator for the State of Nuevo León, Mexico, expressed her intention to adopt BTC as legal tender.