Mexican cartel could be behind the murder of two Israeli criminals

For decades, Israeli mafias have supplied weapons and laundered money for criminal organizations in Mexico

Mexican cartel could be behind the murder of two Israeli criminals
The two Israeli men were murdered in a restaurant in Mexico City last week - Photo: Stringer/REUTERS
English 30/07/2019 16:37 Newsroom Mexico City Manuel Espino, David Fuentes, Salvador Corona Actualizada 16:46
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Mexican authorities were aware of the presence of Israeli mafias in the country since 2000 and their participation in money laundering and the sale of weapons.

According to intelligence reports from the Peña Nieto administration, between 2000 and 2010, the Israeli groups collaborated with the Beltrán Leyva cartel as the Israeli mafias supplied the cartel with high-powered weapons and laundered money for the criminal organization.

The reports show that Mexican authorities learned about the operation of the Israeli mafia in the country until 2013, mainly in Mexico City, and whose members entered Mexico legally.

Since 2012, Mexican authorities launched investigations about the smuggling and sale of weapons by former Mossad agents in Mexico.

Moreover, the now-extinct PGR knew about the presence of the Israeli mafia in training camps for members of the Los Zetas cartel in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Hidalgo.

Last week, the murder of two Israeli citizens, Benjamin Yeshurun Sutchi and Alon Azulay in Mexico City sparked concern about the presence of the Israeli mafia in Mexico and its link with Mexican cartels.

On Friday, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo Montaño revealed that the two Israelis murdered were linked to money laundering groups in Mexico.

Moreover, it's been revealed that Mexican authorities weren't aware of Sutchi and Azulay's criminal activities in the country because although in Israel they were identified as criminals with extensive criminal records and the U.S. was investigating them for money laundering and possible links to terrorist groups, in Mexico no one knew about their crimes.

Also, Mexico's Attorney General found that Sutchi and Azulay founded a company, Bucay Soluciones Empresariales, which is located in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez. According to the report, the company participated in local government tenders since 2016 and was awarded contracts to provide office supplies to the local government.

Now, the local Attorney General's Office and the Attorney General of Mexico are collaborating in the case. So far, the agencies have established that it is possible that one of the reasons behind the murder of Azulay and Sutchi was a dispute with the leaders of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG). According to the investigations, they laundered money for this cartel.

Mexican authorities have found that the Israelis established companies in Oaxaca, Puebla, Guanajuato, Querétaro, and Mexico City; these companies were allegedly used to launder the cartel's money.

After authorities tracked their cellphones and monitored their company's movements, it is possible that the Israelis tried to rob or defraud the CJNG cartel.

The messages found in Sutchi and Azulay's phones showed that the CJNG cartel organized the meeting with the Israelis. Other messages how that the Israelis opposed the meeting but agreed after they were told it would take place in a public place.

Authorities also identified the presence of an important member of the cartel inside the shopping center where the attack took place, who is said to have been coordinating the attack. His presence was detected through surveillance videos and it is known that he left the city after the attack.

Mexico City's Attorney General, Ernestina Godoy, revealed that authorities have already identified the other suspects who participated in the homicide of the Israeli men.

The official said that Mexican authorities are collaborating with international authorities to find more information about the Israeli criminals.


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