This is how Mexican cartels operate at airports

Criminal organizations move drugs and money thanks to their networks which include flight attendants, pilots, and members of the Federal Police
Mexico City International Airport - Photo: Ramóm Romero/EL UNIVERSAL
28/12/2017
15:59
Dennis A. García
Mexico City
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Criminal organizations in Mexico, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, have expanded their operation networks at the airports of the country in order to smuggle drugs and money with the help of pilots, ground handlers, private security personnel, flight attendants, and even members of the Federal Police.

A report by the Federal Police confirms that while seizures do take place at Mexican airports, these are only a fraction of the total amounts moved every day in commercial flights and airport terminals.

They have acknowledged that in some cases seized cargoes are distractions so bigger shipments can move undetected. The main center of operations of drug cartels is the International Mexico City Airport (AICM).

According to the information, criminal organizations have operation networks involving drug couriers and mules and airport staff.

The operations of drug cartels at airports has over 20 years. People arrested for drug trafficking have used airlines such as Iberia, Volaris, Copa Airlines, Air France, Aeroméxico, and Mexicana de Aviación.

Pursuant to the Federal Police and the Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR), high-risk flights are those coming mainly, from Peru, Panama, Colombia, the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Spain.

This is how the International Mexico City Airport becomes the link for moving drugs between Center and South America to the United States and European countries.

Most common trafficked illegal substances are cocaine, heroin, crystal Meth, ephedrine, fentanyl, and pseudoephedrine.

Between 2007 and early 2016, at least 256 cargos of illegal drugs have been seized at the Mexico City International Airport.

drugs2.jpg
(Seized illegal cargo – Photo: Courtesy of the FEDERAL POLICE)

Not only in Mexico City

In March 2016 at the International Airport of Cancún in Quintana Roo, a woman was arrested trying to smuggle three kilograms of cocaine hidden in the false bottom of her suitcase.

In the airport of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Federal Police members arrested last month a woman who had tried to board a flight carrying 22 cocaine capsules inside her and in October, another who had swallowed 41.

In Tijuana, Baja California, 9 kilograms of crystal meth were hidden inside two wooden crosses covered in plaster.

In Mérdia, Yucatán, 25 nozzles of e-cigarettes containing cannabis oil were seized with the help of dogs trained for drug detection.

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