Federal police in Mexico said Sunday March 27th that they had arrested a man identified as one of the top money launderers for drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.
The police agency said on its Twitter account that Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, who had allegedly laundered about $4 billion in the past decade, was detained in the southern state of Oaxaca.
In a statement, authorities said federal police and the Mexican Army arrested Alvarez Inzunza, 34, nicknamed “El Rey Midas” (‘King Midas”), who they said operated a network of companies and currency exchange centers through which some $300 million to $400 million passed each year on behalf of Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel, MSN reported.
Alvarez Inzunza operated in Sinaloa and Jalisco states but was in Oaxaca vacationing when he was detained, police said.
Authorities said Alvarez Inzunza’s laundering operations extended across Mexico’s border into Colombia, Panama and the United States.
Police said he was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant from the U.S., where he is wanted on money laundering charges.
As head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which smuggles large quantities of drugs into the United States, Guzmán was called “Public Enemy No. 1” by the Chicago Crime Commission. He made a prior prison escape in 2001, with the assistance of prison guards, and spent years on the run before his recapture in 2014.
Guzmán then made world headlines in July 2015 with his dramatic escape from Mexico’s maximum-security Altiplano prison. A massive international manhunt ended Jan. 8 with his arrest following a deadly shootout in Los Mochis, a Mexican coastal city of 250,000 in Guzmán’s home state of Sinaloa.
Authorities said Guzmán, who wanted to make a biopic about his life, accepted an interview with actor Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo that tipped off investigators to his location.