US freezes assets of Mexican drug trafficker
Mexico City, May 16 - The US Department of Treasury has frozen the assets of an alleged member of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, the US Embassy in Mexico City announced Thursday.
The embargo targets Sinaloa cartel member Heriberto Zazueta Godoy and three other suspects, as well as three companies linked to the men, Xinhua quoted the American embassy as saying in a statement.
According to the US Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, also known as the Kingpin act, authorities have the right to freeze all of the suspects' assets and property, including companies, in the US or under the control of US citizens.
The whereabouts of Zazueta, wanted by US law enforcement for his decades-long involvement in drug trafficking, are currently unknown.
Zazueta was accused of helping to ship 19 tonnes of cocaine aboard a motorboat that was seized in international waters off the coast of Panama in March 2007. He was again charged by an Illinois court with drug trafficking and money laundering in February, along with the head of the Sinaloa cartel, Ismael "Mayo" Zambada, who is also on the run.
The US State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Zambada's arrest.
The other suspects are Zazueta's uncle Leopoldo Gomez Zazueta and his brother-in-law Demetrio Romero Zevada.
Violating the embargo could lead to punishment of a 10-year to 30-year prison sentence, or a $5 million fine for individuals and $10 million fine for companies. (IANS)