Argentine security forces capture alleged high-ranking member of Italian mafia
By Dialogo September 16, 2014
Argentine security forces captured Pantaleone Mancuso, an alleged high-ranking member of the Italian narco-trafficking ‘Ndrangheta mafia, in the city of Puerto Iguazú in the province of Misiones. Agents with the Argentine Gendarmerie arrested Mancuso on Aug. 29 as he tried to cross the border and enter Brazil.
Mancuso was carrying a fake identification card and about $130,000 (USD) when he was captured, according to Sky TG24.
Italian police allege Mancuso is a member of the ‘Ndrangheta. He is wanted in Italy on two charges of attempted murder.
Mancuso had been a fugitive since early 2013. The Argentine Gendarmerie made the arrest of Mancuso public on Sept. 11, after the Gendarmerie confirmed his identity through fingerprints.
The ‘Ndrangheta controls the vast majority of cocaine that enters Italy and has ties with Colombian and Mexican cartels and organized crime groups, according to news accounts in The Guardian and a report issued in June by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
Mancuso, 53, was wanted by Italian police and prosecutors who allege he tried to kill two members of his own family. Argentine police will hold him while they await extradition documents from Italian prosecutors.
It’s unclear how Mancuso entered Argentina or what he was doing in South America. Argentine authorities have apprehended numerous alleged drug lords in recent years.
For example, in 2011, Argentinian security forces captured Ignacio Álvarez Meyendorff, who had strong ties to Colombia's Norte de Valle cartel.
U.S. Treasury Department sanctions 3 Mexican lawyers, real estate company
The U.S. Treasury Department froze the assets of three Mexican attorneys and a real estate company for their alleged links to Mexican drug traffickers, the Treasury Department announced on Sept. 11.
The Treasury Department froze the assets of attorneys José Aviña Bribiesca, Ignacio González Hernández, and Janette Iliana González Linares, who are all based in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The real estate company, Bona-Habitat, is also based in Guadalajara.
The Treasury Department alleges that Bona-Habitat is controlled by Mexican attorney Juvencio Ignacio González Parada. The Treasury Department has previously levied financial sanctions against González Parada. He is accused of advising Rafael Caro Quintero, a drug trafficker who spent 28 years in a Mexican prison after he was convicted of the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. A Mexican judge threw out Caro Quintero’s conviction in August 2013, and Mexican prison authorities released him.
The Treasury Department has designated Aviña Bribiesca, González Hernández, González Linares and Bona-Habitat as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs).
“Narcotics traffickers often employ corrupt attorneys to disguise and advance their illicit activities,” Adam J. Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to cut off the funding of any actors who enable the illegal dealings of drug trafficking organizations.”
The sanctions, established under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, freeze all assets held in the U.S. by any of the three men and the real estate company, making it illegal for any U.S. entity or citizen to conduct financial or commercial transactions with them.
The Treasury Department designated Caro Quintero was a SDNT in 2000.
Since June 2000, the Treasury Department has designated more than 1,600 individuals and entities worldwide under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act since June 2000.
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 of up to US$5 million, while fines for corporations may reach US$10 million. Individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines.