Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mexico: Drug-Smuggling Businessman Accuses Top Official

Apologies for the gaps in this story - well, the Sun-Sentinel should apologize. Sketchy but provocative reporting. - AC
S. Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted July 3 2007

MEXICO CITY A Chinese-Mexican businessman charged in the largest drug-related cash seizure in history accused a top Mexican official of forcing him to stash millions in illicit campaign funds in the walls and closets of his Mexico City mansion.

In the first major accusation linking the administration of President Felipe Calderon to Mexico's drug underworld, Zhenli Ye Gon claims Javier Lozano Alarcon, now Mexico's labor secretary, threatened to kill him unless he stored duffel bags stuffed with at least $150 million.

But key details in his version of events seem contradictory, unclear or unverifiable, and senior U.S. anti-drug official said he knew of no evidence that the Calderon administration, which has sent troops into the streets to fight drug cartels, has any links to organized crime.

Ye Gon is thought to be in the United States. Mexico considers him a fugitive.