Mexican authorities seize 5.3 million dollars
Mexican authorities seized nearly 5.3 million dollars during an Army at an empty house in Culiacan, in the north- western state of Sinaloa, the Mexican Public Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.
The house allegedly belonged to drug traffickers, although no one was arrested and the authorities did not specify to which group it belonged, the dpa reported.
Two guns and two luxury vehicles were also seized in the operation, which took most of the day Wednesday, the authorities said.
In a separate incident, three Colombian women - a mother and her two daughters - were arrested at Mexico City airport as they tried to enter the country with 130,000 dollars in undeclared funds, Mexican authorities said.
The cash was hidden in part of "the expanding handle of the suitcases they were carrying" and was detected through electronic mechanisms, the Mexican Public Prosecutor's Office said Thursday in a statement.
The women admitted that they had already carried out similar operations on two prior occasions.
In another drug-related incident, the former governor of the state of Quintana Roo Mario Villanueva Madrid was sentenced to 36 years in jail for drug trafficking on Wednesday.
Villanueva Madrid was arrested in May 2001 and in June 2007 he was condemned to six years in jail. At that time, the judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to condemn him for drug trafficking, and since he had already served over six years in jail was released.
However, he was immediately arrested again based on an extradition request filed by the United States, and he remained under arrest when the latest sentence was announce by a higher court.
It found that Villanueva Madrid - who was governor from 1993-1999 - collaborated with the Juarez Cartel from 1993 to 1996.