The world’s most powerful drug lord has been linked to the Panama Papers

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico January 8, 2016
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico January 8, 2016

Documents from global law firm Mossack Fonseca leaked to journalists have linked the firm to two alleged money launderers and drug traffickers tied to notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The two people in question – Marllory Chacon Rossell and Jorge Milton Cifuentes – have both been linked to illegal activities led by Guzman, who famously escaped from a Mexican prison but was recaptured in Janury.

Business Insider has not seen the leaked documents at issue, which were part of a massive trove of financial records revealing the offshore holdings of public officials, businesspeople, and other celebrities.

Chacon, according to Univision, was accused of being the most active money launderer in Guatemala and of leading a cell of Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel.

The documents have revealed the involvement of Chacon in an offshore company set up by the law firm.

From late 2009 to 2010, Chacon was the president of a company called Brodway Commerce Inc., which was created by Mossack Fonseca. Over that same period, she laundered $4 million in drug proceeds in Central America, according to US authorities.

While allegations of her criminal activities were not public knowledge at the time, Univision notes that “a simple investigation” would have led the law firm to the questionable histories of two of her business partners. One of those partners confessed to drug trafficking and another was investigated for alleged financial misdeeds, according to Univision.

Chacon was later accused of illegal activities by US authorities. A grand jury in Florida filed an indictment accusing her of trafficking in August 2011, according to Univision. The following, year the US Treasury department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) put her on its “black list” of suspected narcotraffickers.

She was “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America,”according to a US Treasury Department statement cited by the BBC.

Marllory Chacon Rossell drug trafficking

US Treasury department

A photo of Marllory Chacon Rossell, a drug trafficker and money launderer linked to “El Chapo” Guzman and named in the Panama Papers.

Chacon turned herself in to US authorities in September 2014 and pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges in December that year, according to InSight Crime.

She was sentenced in May 2015, reportedly receiving leniency for cooperating with authorities, according to McClatchy.

Meanwhile, Jorge Milton Cifuentes, a Colombian trafficker with extensive ties to Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, also had dealings with the law firm,according to Mexican news site Aristegui Noticias and Mexico City-based magazine Proceso, both of which saw the leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca.

In 2007, Mossack Fonseca created a company that it later dissolved after the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) connected it with Cifuentes, according to the Spanish news agency EFE.

Cifuentes, who is was charged in the US, was the head of a Colombian family with deep ties to drug trafficking in that country. According to a US indictment, between 2003 and 2008, Guzman and the Cifuentes family made agreements to produce, transport, and distribute cocaine.

Cifuentes Villa clan org chart USDOJ

US Treasury Department

An organizational chart of the Cifuentes Villa clan compiled by the US Treasury Department. Click to expand.

Between 2008 and 2011, Cifuentes “most likely has obtained and imported over 31,000 kilograms [68,343 pounds] of cocaine to the United States, and is purportedly the primary source of … cocaine for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico,” according to the State Department.

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