Sinaloa drug cartel laundered millions through Chinese network in L.A., prosecutors say

To funnel proceeds from their drug sales back to Mexico, the Sinaloa cartel allegedly collaborated with a group of Chinese nationals in the San Gabriel Valley who are working with wealthy Chinese residents seeking to move their money to the U.S., according to federal prosecutors.

U.S. Atty. E. Martin Estrada announced Tuesday that a grand jury has charged 24 defendants — drug traffickers, couriers, bagmen and brokers — with conspiring to distribute drugs, money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

The indictment described a straightforward system to transfer wealth out of China. The Chinese government has restricted the flow of assets out of the country, creating an underground market for U.S. dollars that drug traffickers need to transfer back to Mexico without using conventional banking systems.

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