Obama administration targets Mexican drug cartel figure

Filemon Garcia Ayala, a Mexican national and fugitive, leads an advanced laundering network that makes large international money transfers on behalf of the Los Zetas cartel, according to a statement issued by the agency. 

Treasury, under 1999 legislation known as the “Kingpin Act,” moved to freeze Ayala’s assets within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit Americans from doing business with him. 

The agency also identified two companies in Mexico and three firms in the United States that are affiliated with Ayala. Those companies are subject to the same sanctions.

“By exposing another key money operation tied to Los Zetas, Treasury is depriving the Zetas of an important avenue to launder their narco-dollars,” said Adam J. Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC.) “We will continue to target individuals and businesses linked to Los Zetas and take any action necessary to protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit financial dealings.”

The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,200 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.