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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

CRIME: El Chapo's escape cost $50 million

El Chapo
The elaborate prison escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman may have cost $50 million including huge bribes to prison officials.
An estimate of the cost of the break out was given by Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez, the former chief hitman of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. 
Vasquez, who killed 250 people and was released form jail last year, said: "You have to buy off the guards and they know how rich he is. They will have asked for tens of millions of dollars. They had sensors and cameras. That escape cost money."
The Mexican government has offered a reward of $3.8 million for Guzman's recapture. 
But Vasquez, known as Popeye, said no-one would turn him in for less than $20 million. He said: "El Chapo Guzman will die free."

El Chapo escape bike inside the tunnel
Guzman vanished from the maximum security Altiplano prison, 55 miles from Mexico City, late on Saturday even though he was wearing a monitoring bracelet and surveillance cameras were trained on his cell 24 hours a day.
The Sinaloa cartel chief escaped though a mile-long tunnel which had been fitted with a motorcycle on rails. 
Mexico's government has sacked the head of the prison and several other leading officials.
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, the Interior Minister who has refused to resign, said: "He (Guzman) must have counted on the complicity of prison personnel, which, if confirmed, would constitute an act of treason."
A total of 34 prison workers, including those monitoring surveillance cameras, have been interrogated so far.
The escape was a devastating blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto. 
Ladder inside the escape tunnel

As Mexico's biggest manhunt intensified the president and his wife, former soap opera star Angelica Rivera, were pictured enjoying Bastille Day on a state visit to France.
Guzman's likeliest hiding place is believed to be to the mountainous Golden Triangle area in Central Mexico.
Jose Reveles, the author of books about Mexican drug trafficking, told the Los Angeles Times: "They used to say, once El Chapo went into the mountains it would be like trying to find Osama bin Laden. He has his spies, his spotters, his killers." 

The cost of the escape would have been easily affordable for Guzman, whose fortune has been estimated at $1 billion by Forbes magazine.
Mexican police released a recent photograph of him with his hair and black moustache shaved off.
That cast doubt on the veracity of photographs circulated in the Mexican media purporting to show Guzman after his escape flying in a helicopter and drinking a beer.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration the diminutive Guzman, who is believed to be aged 58, began planning his break out of prison immediately after he was captured in February 2014.
The DEA first alerted Mexican authorities to tip-offs it was receiving about escape plots 16 months ago. 


Who is 'El Chapo'?

Photo: AFP

Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Believed to be around 58

Leader of Mexican drug empire Sinaloa Cartel
  • Ranked among most powerful men in the world by Forbes magazine every year since 2009
  • Hid in a laundry cart to escape a maximum security prison in 2001
  • Said to have escaped from authorities through the bottom of a bathtub in 2014
  • Fled through a mile-long tunnel dug from his cell in his second escape from a maximum prison
Source: Telegraph

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