- US officials want $US12.7 billion from notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
- The figure relates to money generated from trafficked cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, but a Guzman attorney has said it is “insane” to think he has the cash to pay.
- Guzman is currently in a Manhattan prison, awaiting sentencing on July 17 after being found guilty of trafficking, money laundering, and the use of firearms, earlier in the year.
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US prosecutors want notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to forfeit the $US12.7 billion he generated from trafficked cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.
But Mariel Colon, one of his attorneys, said in CNN: “It’s insane to think that Guzman would have all that money.”
Guzman’s story as the most infamous drug baron since Pablo Escobar includes thousands of tonnes of narcotics smuggled across the Mexico-US border, elaborate prison escapes, and a gun battle with authorities.
Extradited to the US in 2016, “El Chapo” was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and the use of firearms, in February, 2019.
Now, in a proposal filed by federal officials on Friday, prosecutors want Guzman to pay back the billions “constituting or derived from” his criminal career, CNN reports, though it is not yet clear what assets the US could seize.
“This is largely an academic exercise as the government has never located or identified even a penny of this $US12.7 billion in proceeds supposedly generated by Mr. Guzman,” one of Guzman’s other attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman said.
Guzman is currently in a Manhattan prison, awaiting sentencing on July 17.