The head of the Bagdad cartel, who laundered the profits from cocaine with gold bars, falls in Madrid | Spain | The USA Print

The police have arrested Jaime Powell Rodríguez in Madrid, Yunya, alleged leader of the so-called Bagdad cartel, a Panamanian criminal organization that is accused of being the channel for a third of the cocaine that enters Europe and that laundered the profits from the drug by smuggling gold bars into Spain Panama, with the involvement of a foundry here. The authorities of the Central American country have already extradited Yunya, who fled his country in 2019 when he was going to be tried for sending drug containers to Spain from the port of Colón. The now arrested man was in contact with the world drug lords who were based in Dubai, where he was spending vacations.

The arrest was made on the 20th in the town of Pozuelo de Alarcón, where Jaime Powell lived. The National Police had been looking for him since the US Department of the Treasury reported in 2021 that “the leader of the main Panamanian cartel” had come to live in Spain and that his “main activity was the introduction of large amounts of cocaine into Europe.” ”. The profits from drug trafficking were laundered “through the smuggling in Spain of gold bars from Panama,” always according to a note provided this Thursday by the National Police. From that moment, the investigators detected “more than ten laundering operations” of the network for an amount of more than one million euros.

Laundering was done by smuggling gold bars from Panama “for sale in a gold foundry in Spain.” The police arrested the financial director of the metallurgy and discovered that, in addition to washing with gold, the gang laundered with cryptocurrencies. Yunya escaped this police operation, in which 10 people were arrested, 92 accounts containing 400,000 euros were blocked, and 39 properties valued at 1.5 million euros were seized. Among those arrested were the owner of the forge and its financial director.

The Panamanian authorities have reported that they have issued an extradition order for Yunya for “falsification of documents in general”, filed by the prosecutor Nabila Bravo before the judge of guarantees, Carolina Santamaría, reports Efe. The Panamanian Public Ministry emphasizes that Powell was also investigated for the crime against collective security in the form of gangs by the Superior Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Crimes of Illicit Association, after being located in the United Arab Emirates on June 12, 2018, from where he was extradited on June 25 to Panama, according to the local newspaper Criticism, quoted by the Efe agency. They arrested him when he was on vacation in the emirate.

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The gang, according to the Spanish police, also dedicated itself during years of splendor to arms trafficking, account adjustments and homicides until it was dismantled in 2021. Since then, Powell has been sought.

Powell, originally from the Panamanian province of Colón (Caribbean), was already pointed out in March 2019 as one of the largest drug traffickers, who uses containers in the ports of Colón to transport drugs to Spain. While he was pending trial, he was released by a judge and disappeared. Last November, and within the framework of an operation led by Europol, a large cartel was dismantled and six “drug lords” were arrested in Dubai, including the Panamanian Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza, designated as the alleged person responsible for the introduction of cocaine in the port of Manzanillo in Panama (Caribbean) and that he maintained contact with the rest of the drug lords in the emirate.

Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza was allegedly in charge of supplying cocaine to the six drug lords, for which he chartered ships loaded with that drug from the port of Manzanillo, in Panama. From the conversations, the agents conclude that between them they could have introduced 10 tons of cocaine into Spain in the last two years.

Yunya’s passport identification sheet.

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