Former Mexican Official Arrested On Money-Laundering Charges
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) _ A former Mexican drug enforcement official has been arrested on charges of laundering money for a notorious drug lord, authorities said.
Rafael Aguilar Guajardo was in custody while police charges are investigated, said Guillermo Gonzalez Calderon, commander of the federal judicial police in this border city.
Gonzalez said Aguilar was arrested with six other people he described as ″all big fish.″ He declined to reveal their names, adding, ″I can’t tell you any more because this matter is still under investigation.″
Aguilar was head of the security force in charge of investigating narcotics trafficking in the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila until 18 months ago.
He was arrested Tuesday in Torreon by dozens of federal judicial police agents armed with machine guns and high-powered rifles, the Diario de Juarez newspaper reported Friday. He was transferred to Juarez on Thursday, Gonzalez said.
The chief of the federal judicial police in Torreon, Manuel Gallardo Rios, said Aguilar claimed at the time of his arrest that he had ″fixed his problems with highly placed officials.″
Aguilar allegedly laundered money for Rafael Caro Quintero’s drug profits, investing the money into legitimate businesses to conceal its origin, Gallardo said.
Caro Quintero was arrested last year in connection with the kidnapping and death in Guadalajara of Enrique Camarena Salazar, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Unidentified official sources told the Diario de Juarez that Aguilar owns several pieces of property in Juarez, including a popular disco and two houses in an exclusive neighborhood. He also owns stores, eight cattle ranches and a meat packing plant in Torreon, the newspaper said.
Jose Quinonez, federal district attorney in Juarez, said the results of the investigation into Aguilar will be turned over to his office, which could file formal charges.