Delaware investigates dealings between Del Castillo and “El Chapo”

According to an intelligence report the drug kingpin was interested in investing in companies registered in Delaware.

As part of the ongoing investigation authorities are trying to determine if El Chapo made any transfers to the Mexican actress and if the flights that she took to Mexico were paid by Guzmán or his associates. (Photo: Archive/El Universal)
English 14/01/2016 12:15 Juan Omar Fierro Actualizada 12:15

The biopic about Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán that was going to be produced and coordinated by Kate del Castillo was just the first of several businesses planned by them, including investments by the drug kingpin in companies registered in Delaware.

The U.S. Department of Treasury and Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) are investigating the businesses and dealings between the two, according to an intelligence report written by the federal government.

As part of the ongoing investigation authorities are trying to determine if El Chapo made any transfers to the Mexican actress and if the flights that she took to Mexico were paid by Guzmán or his associates.

The star of the “Queen of the South” met with Andrés Granados Flores, one of Guzmán's lawyers, on October 27, 2015 at Xochimilco, in Mexico City. The meeting was not as secret as she planned, as they were photographed by intelligence staff.  In images obtained by EL UNIVERSAL, a Suburban van and a Mercedes Benz car are seen arriving to one of the piers in Xochimilco. Then the actress and the lawyer took a ride on a “trajinera” (a traditional gondola-like boat) with the name "Yolanda".

In this meeting they allegedly confirmed the names of the associate producers of the film: Fernando Javier Sulichin from Argentina and José Ibáñez Martín Pira from Spain. Both of them accompanied the Mexican actress and Sean Penn to meet El Chapo at his hideout on October 2.

Del Castillo also talked with Granados about other businesses: the head of the Sinaloa cartel was interested in investing his money in U.S. companies, one of them registered in Delaware.

The report states that the dealings between Del Castillo and Guzmán could constitute a violation of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, that prohibits all trade and transactions between traffickers and U.S. companies and individuals. Del Castillo became an American citizen on September 28, 2015, four days before she traveled from California to Mexico to meet El Chapo in person.

"Considering that the aforementioned actors are U.S. nationals and met with the drug kingpin designated on June 1, 2001 to negotiate a project to make a movie without informing authorities, their behavior could be taken as an attempt to conceal Guzmán's location and try to do business with him,” the intelligence report adds.

Sulichin and Ibáñez could also be sanctioned.

Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to US$1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to US$5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach US$10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act or the regulations.

Also, Chapter 49 of the Title 18 of the U.S. Code states that “Whoever harbors or conceals any person for whose arrest a warrant or process has been issued under the provisions of any law of the United States, so as to prevent his discovery and arrest, after notice or knowledge of the fact that a warrant or process has been issued for the apprehension of such person, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; except that if the warrant or process issued on a charge of felony, or after conviction of such person of any offense, the punishment shall be a fine under this title, or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.”

 

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