MEXICO CITY: US authorities extradited on Tuesday Chinese-Mexican businessman Zhenli Ye Gon to Mexico to face drug-related charges, nine years after a whopping $205 million were seized from his mansion in the capital.
Salvador Sandoval Silva, a deputy attorney general, showed a video of Ye Gon arriving on a plane and said he would be taken to the Altiplano maximum-security prison near Mexico City.
In March 2007, authorities found $205 million in cash in his luxurious Mexico City home, which was considered the largest-ever seizure of drug-related money.
Ye Gon was accused of importing chemicals from China that were used to produce methamphetamine in Mexico, which was then shipped to the United States.
The Shanghai-born man, who had a pharmaceutical company in Mexico, was arrested near Washington in July 2007.
The US charges were dismissed in 2009 but he remained in jail due to the Mexican extradition request, which a judge approved in 2011.
He has proclaimed his innocence and sought to fight the extradition, but he lost his appeal.
Sandoval said Ye Gon was wanted on charges of organized crime, drug-related crimes, possession of illegal weapons and conducting operations with illegal proceeds.
In another US case, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. casino company agreed in 2013 to pay more than $47 million to the US government to avoid charges over its failure to alert the authorities about Ye Gon’s gambling at its Venetian-Palazzo hotel complex in Las Vegas.
Ye Gon gambled away $126 million in Las Vegas casinos between 2004 and 2007, according to US authorities. AFP