On Tuesday, businessman Zhenli Ye Gon, accused of producing and trafficking methamphetamine, was extradited to Mexico. Placed by U.S. Marshals on a flight from Virginia to Mexico City, he was immediately taken to the country’s top-security lock-up, the notorious Altiplano Prison, upon his arrival. According to the BBC, this turn-over comes after he lost a nine-year legal battle against extradition from the U.S.
Zhenli Ye Gon fled to the United States in 2007, after Mexican police seized $205 million in cash from his Mexico City villa. As South China Morning Post notes, this was hailed as the biggest cash haul in the history of global drug enforcement.
Authorities say he was importing vast quantities of precursor chemicals for meth production. Ye Gon, who has dual Chinese and Mexican citizenship, denies the charges, maintaining that his company, Unimed Pharm Chem Mexico, was producing legal prescription drugs.
Ye Gon made a bit of a splash in the U.S. during the 2012 presidential elections, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles opened an investigation into his suspected money laundering through the Las Vegas Sands casino company—whose CEO and largest shareholder is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to the Republican Party and general conservative loudmouth. Las Vegas Sands reportedly failed to tell the authorities about suspicious money transfers by Ye Gon until the media attention around his bust in 2007. Adelson himself was not named in the investigation, but the affair was an embarrassment for the GOP.
Ye Gon’s name also popped up that year in a U.S. Senate subcommittee report on the failure of London-based HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, to institute safeguards to prevent money laundering through its affiliates. The subcommittee said it had found that HSBC Mexico “transported $7 billion in physical U.S. dollars to [HSBC Bank USA] from 2007 to 2008… raising red flags that the volume of dollars included proceeds from illegal drug sales in the United States.” The bank also turned a blind eye to suspicious accounts. For instance, HSBC saw no major risk in Ye Gon’s accounts as he moved $90 million through the bank in the early and middle 2000s.
The U.S. indicted Ye Gon in 2007, although prosecutors later dropped the charges. He continued to be held in a Virginia prison pending extradition to Mexico.
For all HIGH TIMES’ news coverage, click here.
The Return Of The Super Sativa Seed Club
Getting Lost At The FounderMade Discovery Show West
Oklahoma Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Staging Threats From Irate Cannabis Proponents
Study Suggests Legal Cannabis Could Create Over 100,000 Jobs in Florida
Expert Lighting Advice For Taking Your Grow To The Next Level
The Rebirth Of Subcool: The Inside Story Of A Legendary Bud Breeder
The Best Hydroponic Methods For Growing Cannabis Yourself
Authorities Investigating “Dank” Cartridges As Possible Culprit In Vape-Related Illnesses
Grow6 days ago
Master Of Hash: Frenchy Cannoli’s Plan To Change The World Of Hashmaking
News6 days ago
Researchers Study How to Treat Cannabis Addiction With More Cannabis
News3 days ago
Canadian Cannabis Company Will Sell Marijuana For Less Than $5 Per Gram
News6 days ago
Kushy Punch Under Scrutiny For Allegedly Making Illegal Vape Cartridges
Activism5 days ago
Compassion Lives on in California as Governor Signs The Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Act
News4 days ago
California Governor Signs Several Marijuana-Related Bills
News5 days ago
Comprehensive Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania
News5 days ago
Florida Man Calls Police to Report His Roommate For Stealing His Weed