L.A. ‘epicenter’ of cartel money laundering

“The victim was held captive at a ranch in Sinaloa, where he was beaten, shot, electrocuted and water-boarded. The hostage was released after relatives paid $140,000 in ransom” through the fashion district business, authorities said in a statement.

Los Angeles is known as the nation’s capital of many things. Entertainment. Gangs. Even the creative capital of the world.

Add this: The City of Angels is now the nation’s “epicenter” for money laundering by international drug cartels.

Federal officials made such an announcement this week after they raided downtown businesses and seized an estimated $100 million in cash and from bank accounts around the world that were part of forfeiture actions in the ongoing probe.

Some of the laundered money included ransom payments to the Sinaloa drug cartel that allegedly kidnapped and tortured a U.S. citizen at a ranch in Mexico.

“Los Angeles has become the epicenter of narco-dollar money laundering with couriers regularly bringing duffel bags and suitcases full of cash to many businesses,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Dugdale said.


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