Mexican soldiers seize $11.5 million

Bulk cash keeps drug traffickers in business

By Sandra Dibble | 9:44 p.m. July 13, 2015

Mexican soldiers guard currency seized Sunday from a truck ostensibly carrying strawberries from Tijuana to Mexico City. — Sedena

Mexico’s military has announced the seizure of more than $11.5 million in U.S. currency and 600 rounds of ammunition following the inspection of a truck supposedly carrying a shipment of strawberries from Tijuana to Mexico City.

A statement issued late Monday from Mexico’s Second Military Region in Mexicali said the seizure occurred at 10 a.m. on Sunday, at San Emeterio, a federal inspection station near the U.S. border in the state of Sonora, about 17 miles south of Sonoyta on Highway 2.

The ammunition was of various calibers. The truck was labeled “Maruha Refrigerados.” A suspect, presumably the driver, was taken into custody, but was not identified.

Shipments of large sums of U.S. currency, often known as bulk cash, are critical to the operations of drug trafficking groups in Mexico, helping bribe officials, purchase weapons, hire hit men and pay off debts or underwrite other expenses. They are typically the proceeds of drug sales in the United States.
The statement did not link the cash to any drug trafficking organization. In 2011, the Mexican military seized more than $15.3 million in Tijuana that they linked to the Sinaloa cartel.