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Mexico: drug trafficker 'El Inge', alleged leader of the Pacific Cartel, arrested

Army and National Guard units seized 118 kilograms of fentanyl with a market value of approximately 970.5 million pesos, considered the "largest seizure in history"
Policía y soldado del Ejército de México

REUTERS/LUIS CORTES  -   Policeman and soldier of the Mexican Army

Mexican authorities on Thursday reported the arrest of Armando "N", 'el Inge', the leader of synthetic drug production for the Pacific Cartel, commonly known as the Sinaloa Cartel.

The arrest took place on Sunday, October 28, but it was not until November 2 that "the competent judge issued an indictment for the crime of organised crime against Armando N 'El Inge', alleged leader of a criminal cell dedicated to the production of synthetic drugs in Culiacán, as well as four of his collaborators," the Ministry of National Defence (Sedena) said in a statement.

The police operation carried out by the National Guard and the Army, in support of the Attorney General's Office (FGR), culminated in the arrest of "El Inge", considered the largest producer of fentanyl in the country, and four of his collaborators in the city of Culiacán, in Sinaloa, according to a joint statement from the institutions.

As a result of the investigations, one of the cartel's synthetic drug laboratories, where members of the criminal group were hiding, a house that served as a storage centre and three other premises linked to drug trafficking were also located. 

Police intervention

During the operation, the authorities seized 118 kilograms of pure fentanyl. "This seizure of pure fentanyl is considered the largest in history, with an estimated price on the national market of 970.4 million pesos," said the authorities. 

El presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador   REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO
REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO - The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Among the items found were four handguns and one long gun, along with 1,050 cartridges of different calibres, two vehicles and almost 20,000 dollars in cash, according to sources from the Ministry of Defence.

The gang's activity allowed them to produce 70 million fentanyl pills per month to supply the Pacific Cartel. For this reason, the agents seized four bags of substances for making fentanyl paste and two kilograms of a chemical similar to Inositol.

The Mexican administration has assured that the police actions and arrests were carried out "in strict accordance with the rule of law and with full respect for human rights, without firing a single shot".

In addition to this organised gang, the Mexican government has identified 19 "high-impact" cartels operating in the country, which it is trying to curb with various actions such as freezing bank accounts. Among them, the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation and the Sinaloa Cartel with national and international presence stand out.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra