BBCI: Rafa Marquez: Mexico footballer accused of cartel link

Mexico Soccer Star Among 22 Sanctioned for Alleged Drug Ties

Mexico Soccer Star Among 22 Sanctioned for Alleged Drug Ties

"In coordination with US and Mexican law enforcement actions, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Mexican national Raul Flores Hernandez and the Flores Drug Trafficking Organization (Flores DTO) as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act)", the release stated.

US officials allege that Marquez and Mexican singer Julion Alvarez have longstanding relationships with Flores Hernandez and provided fronts for him and his drug organization.

The Treasury said in a statement that it will also sanction 43 entities in Mexico, including a soccer team and casino.

All of the sanctioned individuals and entities' assets subject to USA jurisdiction will be frozen and United States persons are generally prohibited from doing business with them.

Known popularly as Rafa, the 38-year-old Marquez made his debut for the national team in February 1997 and has captained his country in the last four World Cups.

Rafa Marquez was one of 21 people and 42 organisations singled out by the USA treasury department for sanctions.

Flores Hernandez allegedly operated independently in the northern city of Guadalajara, but maintained alliances with the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels.

Marquez has not yet been charged with a crime, and OFAC designation does not indicate that a person will or will not be charged with a crime. According to the DEA, both Julion Alvarez and Rafael Marquez have a longstanding relationship with Flores Hernandez where they have acted as fronts for him and have also held assets on his behalf.

Federal drug trafficking indictments against Flores Hernandez were returned in March in Washington and the southern district of California.

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