The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) admitted Monday to having laundered money for a Colombian drug trafficker in an undercover operation against Mexican cartels.
The DEA has issued a statement saying that “for years” it has worked with Mexican authorities in covert operations to infiltrate Latin American drug trafficking gangs and halt the financial laundering of proceeds from international drug trafficking, in particular from Colombia through Mexico to the U.S.
The issue came to the fore again on Monday as the New York Times reported on Mexican government documents they had obtained, which detailed a 2007 operation in which undercover DEA agents posing as money launderers infiltrated the operations of a Colombian supplier and Mexican drug trafficker.
The operation involved millions of dollars of cash being smuggled and wired around the world, along with a multi-million dollar cargo of cocaine being smuggled through Mexico and into the U.S., before being shipped to Spain where it was intercepted by Spanish authorities in Madrid.
The agents’ involvement resulted in an extradition order against the Colombian supplier involved in the sting, named as Harold Porveda Ortega. However U.S. authorities have declined to confirm whether or not the extradition has taken place.