(posted Aug. 24, 6:45 p.m.)- The 18 men who were detained Aug. 21 entering Nicaragua under the guise of Mexican journalists are now under investigation for international money laundering and organized crime after Nicaraguan police discovered some $7 million hidden in secret compartments inside the six Chevrolet vans in which the group was traveling.
Nicaraguan Police Chief Aminta Granera announced today that the Mexican Embassy has confirmed that the 18 suspects do not work for Televisa, nor do the vans and camera equipment inside the phony media vans belong to the Mexican media network.
Granera said the police were tipped off by the group’s suspicious behavior at the border; several of the self-proclaimed journalists claimed they were in Nicaragua to film a story about tourism, while others said they were en route to Costa Rica to do an investigative piece on money laundering. It is unclear whether the group has anything to do with the Fariñas-Jimenez drug trial underway in Managua, as first reported.
According to Interpol, several of the Mexican suspects reportedly work for a private security firm in Tampico, Mexico. Granera says the Nicaraguan police investigation continues, but there is sufficient evidence to hold the suspects on charges of international money laundering and organized crime.