Mexican drug cartels steal $1B in iron ore

Mar 07, 2014 | 11:34 AM |

Tags  ron ore, theft, China, organized crime, ArcelorMittal, Canacero, Alonso Ancira Elizondo, drug cartel

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican steel industry lost $1 billion last year as a result of stolen iron ore exported to China by drug cartels, according to national steel association Canacero.

"Last year, (organized) crime exported 10 million tonnes of iron ore to China worth $100 per tonne, or around $1 billion. All this is money laundering," Canacero president Alonso Ancira Elizondo told journalists in Mexico.

Over the past four years, local drug cartels have illegally extracted and exported around 5 million tonnes of iron ore per year to China from sites belonging to several steelmakers, said Elizondo, who is also chairman of Altos Hornos de México SA de CV (Ahmsa), which is controlled by Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA. "Organized crime has stolen about 1 million tonnes of iron ore from Ahmsa in 2013. I believe that if the chief executive officer of Sicartsa....

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