Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, March 22, 2021

'El Chapo' Laundered Over US$5M in Andorra for Almost a Decade

"MX" for Borderland Beat

Andorra, in between the borders of Spain and France, was considered by US authorities as a "secretive conduit" for international money-laundering due to its laxed banking restrictions and tax haven. The money Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman (pictured above) laundered there is only a faction of the entire scheme, investigators say.

Mexico's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) claims that Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel, laundered over MXN$105 million (US$5.2 million) in Andorra for nearly a decade.

The scheme was done through a network of businesses that issued fraudulent invoices, transactions, and transfers to launder drug proceeds. Some of these entities are linked to the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and several prominent Mexican figures.

The shell companies used by the Sinaloa Cartel transferred funds to Europe to prevent them from being tracked by financial intelligence services, the UIF said.

Although the scheme worked for almost 10 years, the first concrete clues of this money laundering network were identified by the UIF after they detected that at least 22 Mexican companies registered transactions with Andorran entities.

These businesses were doing transactions with 72 limited liability corporations (known in Mexico as sociedades mercantiles) that had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

The UIF suspects that the MXN$105 million laundered is only a tiny fraction of the Sinaloa Cartel's doings in Andorra.

Mexican investigators believe that like many political figures and businesspeople in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel benefitted from the lax financial system available in Andorra. Until 2018, Andorra was one of the most important tax havens in the world.


The report explains that the UIF, headed by Santiago Nieto, detected that Manuel Eduardo Rodríguez, considered the main financial operator of El Chapo in this scheme, resorted to this network of shell companies to transfer capital from Mexico to Andorra.

His goal: disguising drug proceeds from the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombian drug trafficking groups tied to them.

It is not known exactly how several of these businesses ended up also being used by Odebrecht in its extensive bribery system.

What the investigations do reveal is that while the UIF made decisions to close the money laundering channels, the Sinaloa Cartel turned moved the money to other bank accounts in Europe. The documents establish an intricate network in which, as companies appear and disappear, deposits in pesos and dollars are registered in Andorran bank accounts.

Logo of Mexico's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF)

For example, the UIF detected that after the companies ZOCLE MERCANTIL S.A. and Comercializadora PITER S.A. de C.V. were identified as laundering firms, the Sinaloa Cartel used their accountants to transfer their funds to other entities in Europe.

These two companies were crucial for the Sinaloa Cartel since they were tied to an aircraft that security forces shot down in Venezuela in November 2013. The plane was carrying drugs that were destrined for the Sinaloa Cartel.

After the two entities mentioned above were identified, the Sinaloa Cartel used another company, COPADEC CRIC S.A. de C.V., which transferred US$200,000 to Andorra via another company known as Gallaxy Real Estate S.A. de C.V.

The UIF investigated these companies and noticed that COPADEC had the same business address as VIKOCEL S.A. de C.V., another Sinaloa Cartel shell company. VIKOCEL was formed at the same time as ZOCLE under public notary Leonardo Alfredo Beltran Balderas at his office in Nezahualcoyotl, State of Mexico.

COPADEC sent MXN$45.5 million to ZOCLE and received MXN$6 million in cash in return. VIKOCEL sent ZOCLE MXN$1.1 million and received MXN$4 million in return.

Two other companies, Enterprisse Gamki S.A. de C.V. and Varys Comercial S.A. de C.V., where ran by Juan Collado, a former attorney of President Enrique Peña Nieto. These two companies were tied to the Sinaloa Cartel and managed up to US$4.4 million in Andorra.

Since 2019, Collado has been in prison for money laundering, tax fraud, and organized crime involvement.

Many of these 22 shell companies shared the same or similar addresses and telephone numbers. Some of them even sought to open bank accounts on the same day ten years ago. All of them are based in the State of Mexico when Peña Nieto was Governor.

The shell companies in question are also involved in the La Estafa Maestra (Master Swindle), an ongoing embezzlement case in Mexico involving multiple high-level politicians under Peña Nieto's administration.

List of companies

Gallaxy Real Estate S.A. de C.V. was the "umbrella" company by which the Sinaloa Cartel transferred money to the rest of the shell companies below.

Firms in the State of Mexico

  • Amber Global S.A. de C.V.
  • Diseños Textiles Dug S.A. de C.V.
  • Distribuciones Novo Mundo S.A. de C.V.
  • Grupo Macrobay S.A. de C.V.
  • Riu Construcciones S.A. de C.V.
  • Servicios Especializados Icall S.A. de C.V.
  • Skilum Trade S.A. de C.V. 
  • Tessa Textiles S.A. de C.V.
  • Textiline Collection S.A. de C.V
  • Distribuciones JDB S.A. de C.V.
  • Sales Advisors Muscae S.A. de C.V.
  • Systesoluciones S.A. de C.V.
  • Tentazzion Textil S.A. de C.V
  • Terra Globo Distribuciones S.A. de C.V.
  • Varys Comercial S.A. de C.V.

Firms in Mexico City 

  • Enterprisse Gamki S.A. de C.V.
  • Kolory Internacional S.A. de C.V.
  • Madvysion S.A. de C.V.
  • Myelmart S.A. de C.V.
  • Estado de México 
  • Tentazzion Textil S.A. de C.V
  • Terra Globo Distribuciones S.A. de C.V.
  • Varys Comercial S.A. de C.V.
Firms identified as fraudulent
  • Distribuidora Comercial Franwi S.A. de C.V.
  • Grupo Liztik S.A. de C.V.

Sources: Milenio; EFE; Proyecto Puente


  1. Animo Sicarios!
    El Señor started selling oranges as a young boy , He is a genius who became a Billionaire #701 known in Mexico as El Jefe De La Sierra known in Colombia as El Rapido .
    Arriba La Tuan Badiraguato Sinaloa

    1. ...and he only got life in Supermax. True story.

    2. Grow’re a loser and fake wannabe why don’t you just grow up and get a life. Get a job while you’re at it and get out of your mommas house

    3. LOL!!!! You’re now know as El FakeO. Are you giving a recap of a documentary or just trying to come off like you’re deeply involved in international drug trafficking? You do this nonsense every day with your little fake name just making the site look like a joke. You aren’t a sicario, you aren’t in the cartel, you don’t know anybody that is and you obviously have no life at all or you wouldn’t be here constantly with your fake image.

    4. 1:10 He already has a job protecting los chapitos

    5. 1:10 relax, and enjoy...
      I am sure you are just jealous of soo6 soo incomparableness.
      Tell you what, lets stop messing with the mincemeat trying to make hamberders and patty cakes of poop and get to the real meats, real beefs without grease or sebo or lard...
      Who coordinated all the investments and all those criminals on all those foreign unknown banks???
      They also coordinated the robberies of every politician in Mexico and their cartel ties and the promised impunity.

    6. He's a "genius" yet doing life in prison? Ok...

  2. This guys money is all over.

    1. Yeah but there is just soooo much less then the billions the DEA/FBI/CIA-syndicate loves to proclaim.

      USD5.2M over a decade, I mean fuck it would take him 2000 years to reach a billion!

      Yes yes yada yada this is just ONE of many places, but nevertheless: its peanuts because 95% of the billions in drug proceeds are paid out as bribes!

    2. This is 1 of the things id love to know about.. i could see mayo as a billionaire- he should be after the
      amount of time hes put in.
      I saw a video a while back that said chapo borrowed 30 million from polo ochoa for a cocaine load. So chapo either needed rhe money, or it was all a setup so chapo could have him whacked.

      And you would think if chapo needed a “loan”, he would go to mayo.. i wonder how much does go out in bribes

  3. According to the US GOV, and how much they were requesting as a seizure from Chapo himself, this $5million is less than 0.5% of his estimated fortune..

    1. His estimated fortune is such buuuuulshit!

      This dude and his family got 10's of millions nothing more.

      Being a high stake criminal is VERY VERY expensive. The protection money you pay anually is easily 10X the reward promised by the gov.

    2. I did the math.its a 100000 a year job. After all the overhead plus the required killing

  4. Andorra is where Garcia Luna also had accounts. BB talked about this a few weeks ago. Seems like more will get under the spotlight soon.

    - El Choclo

  5. They will probably keep finding money tied to him for years to come. Maybe 20 or so. Or as long as Chapitos are active.

  6. 5M for a decade....that’s not very much money

    1. not enough NOW at least... UIF says they may go after more so we shall see. Andorra is a well known tax haven for worldwide groups. Let’s see what other ties and knots they discover The fact that several EPN people are linked to this is very bad for him and the PRI

    2. --Andorra, makes peepol forget the Cayman Islands, Bain, Panama Papers, and all the other Gulf of Mexico money laundering tax heavens...

  7. The fact that Chapo even had money in Andorra shows his reach. 5M may not be a lot for his standards, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg now that authorities sniffed that there’s more.

    1. Now that Emma is pointing them to it you mean

    2. 1:47 don't worry about el Chapo's 5 million dollars, they are all gone and untraceable, if he disappeared his billion dollar stash, 5 million is surely GONE.
      What is not gone is the insatiable profiteering of european banksters, remembef Chino antrax got arrested on the Netherlands? Mario Marin's Swiss chalets and cars and daughter in law? Salinas de gortari's loans to his son and querida for italian investments on real estate? The release of raul salinas and all his millions of dollars???
      --The US release of Cienpedos?
      --withdrawals of charges against beltrones and cavazos lerma by the US?
      --the silent complicity of DEA, CIA and US government with drug trafficking and traffickers and on the murder of Kiki Camarena??
      --Esas Si Son Chingaderas!!!

    3. 8:20
      Did you read the article?

  8. Isn’t it odd that everyone knows where the majority of drugs come from, where they go, and ultimately where they are used. But the same cannot be said for the money that drugs generates.


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