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What does $200 million dollars look like


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From http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4638789.html




MEXICO CITY — It's a safe bet that at least a few gangsters will have to answer to underworld bosses, perhaps with their lives, for the $205 million in cash seized by federal agents.


The money, mostly in U.S. $100 bills, was taken from a house in an upscale Mexico City neighborhood where many of the city's politicians, diplomats and business leaders reside.


Powerful drug cartels have long handled cash in such quantities, but the discovery of such a stash — let alone in the heart of the capital — is considered extraordinary.


Among the questions: Who tipped off the Mexican federal agents about the money, and to whom did it belong?


On Friday, authorities said they think the stacks of greenbacks might have been assembled by a relatively new player in the drug world, an amphetamine trafficking organization or coalition of gangs with links to Asia.


"It is going to send a ripple effect through the organization involved," said Mike Vigil, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who once served as its chief of international operations.


"The first thing they will suspect is the possibility of an informant," he said of drug cartel bosses. "I am sure they will find dead bodies throughout Mexico as a result of this seizure."


President Felipe Calderon said the money belonged to drug traffickers and constituted the largest cash seizure ever in Mexico.


"We are acting with determination," Calderon said. "I do not want to even imagine how many young people have been poisoned by this gang's drugs."


Calderon, who took office about 100 days ago, has been adamant about taking on drug traffickers and snuffing out a turf war marked by years of retaliatory bloodshed and stained Mexico's reputation.


He has sent about 20,000 soldiers and federal police to strategic drug hot spots, including Acapulco, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.


In January, Calderon extradited several fugitives to the United States, including Osiel Cardenas, the reputed head of the Gulf Cartel, a drug syndicate that operates on the Texas-Mexico border.


Authorities said the cash seizure was made late Thursday. Agents wrapped the money in plastic and transported it to a federal facility, where it was placed under heavy security.


Mexico's attorney general's office declined to say who owned the home. At least seven people were detained, including two with what appeared to be Chinese names, although the government did not confirm their nationalities.


Photographs of the money, those detained and several weapons with silencers were released to the news media.


Also reportedly seized were machines for making pills and eight vehicles, six of them Mercedes-Benzes.


The attorney general's office said the action came as part of an investigation launched in December, when agents seized more than 19 tons of pseudoephedrine, a chemical used to produce illegal amphetamines.


It was illegally imported from India and traced to a pharmaceutical just outside Mexico City, the agency said.


Drug trafficking in Mexico is often accompanied by acts of violence, betrayal and revenge. Last year, five human heads were tossed onto the dance floor of a nightclub in the state of Michoacan, which is known for marijuana trafficking and is Calderon's home.


Whether criminals betrayed their gangs or federal agents stumbled onto the cash while executing a routine search warrant, Calderon has put the drug trade on notice, Vigil said.


"Calderon is making a lot of enemies within the drug trafficking community," Vigil said. "He has really shown he has a very strong hand and intends to take significant action."

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Amazing. I'd have to guess that by the time you have that kind of money stacked up, the drug business is no longer about cash. It must become an addictive hobby.

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