- Zhenli Ye Gon
Zhenli Ye Gon (zh-t|t=葉真理; [cite web|url=http://www.hkheadline.com/news/instant_news_content/200707/25/20070725b143902.asp|title=華商葉真理在美被控販毒 (Chinese Businessman Ye Zhenli Accused in the US on Drug Charges)|publisher=hkheadline.com|date=
2007-07-25|accessdate=2007-07-28|language=Traditional Chinese] born January 31, 1963, Shanghai, Chinacite web|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/24/AR2007072400150.html?nav=hcmodule|title=Not Your Average Drug Bust|publisher=The Washington Post|date= 2007-07-25|accessdate=2007-07-26] ) is a Mexican business man of Chinese origin accused of trafficking pseudoephedrineinto Mexico from Asia. He is the legal representative of Unimed Pharm Chem México.
In an interview with the news agency AP, Ye Gon claimed that he kept the money found recently in his house after having his life as well as his family's lives threatened by Mexico's PAN party. Ye Gon further accused a person called "Javier Alarcón" of also threatening him physically. The accusation was interpreted by Secretary of Labor
Javier Lozano Alarcónas being defamatory and hired a large New York firm to try to silence Ye Gon and his defense team from making any further accusations against Alarcon. Weeks later, Ye Gon's defense team stated that only Mexican President Calderon may not have known what his political party was doing with respect to its relations with Ye Gon.
According to Ye Gon, Alarcón told him "coopela o cuello" (literally, "co-operate or neck"), meaning if he did not cooperate, he would be killed. Also it should be established that in true Spanish grammar, the phrase would be "coopera o cuello;" this since "coopela" is a similar effect in Spanish as
Ye Gon said that the money's ultimate destination was to the presidential campaign of
Felipe Calderón, the current president. However, Calderón has claimed that there is no truth behind the accusations. In an interview on July 18, 2007, Ye Gon said that President Calderón was not part of the controversy.
The Chinese citizens (Yen Yongging and Fu Huaxin) were apprehended [http://www.milenio.com/index.php/2007/03/22/52669/ MILENIO.COM » Busca INTERPOL al chino de Operación Dragón en Las Lomas ] ] on
July 23, 2007. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/world/4992830.html AP News on Chron.com] ] On December 5United Pharm Chem had seen 19,497 kilos of pseudoephedrine seized ().
Gon is currently wanted in 180 countries by
Interpol[ [http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/03/23/index.php?section=politica&article=016n1pol La Operación Dragón pone al descubierto red de narcos y traficantes de personas - La Jornada ] ] and was said to be in the U.S. as he was supposedly spotted in Las Vegas at the moment of the seizure of the cash and in New Yorkafterwards. [ [http://www.cronica.com.mx/nota.php?id_nota=310431 ¿El policía chino..? / 11 de Febrero de 2008 ] ]
The fortune, found by the police on
March 15, 2007at his residence at Lomas de Chapultepecin Mexico Cityincluded the following:
*205 million U.S. dollars
Hong Kong dollars
centenarios (Mexican gold bullioncoins made of 1.20565 oz t (37.5 g) of pure gold [ [http://www.banxico.org.mx/nProductosNumismatica/aMonedasMetalesFinos/MonedasOro/FamiliaCentenario/frFamiliaCentenario.html Bank of Mexico Centenario Description] ] )
*A great amount of jewels, of unknown value
Confiscated along with the money were also:
*Two Mexican-style dwellings of approximately 20 million pesos
*1 lab in construction of unknown value
*7 vehicles Nine persons were arrested, four of them of Asian origin. [ [http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldemexico/notas/n214429.htm Busca Interpol en 180 países a "Midas" por decomiso millonario ] ] Two Mexican Federal agents that were involved in the arrests at the Zhenli Ye Gon mansion were found dead in the Mexican southern state of Guerrero, as reported on August 2, 2007. [ [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-briefs2.1aug02,1,6024945.story?coll=la-headlines-world World in Brief / MEXICO - Agents who took part in raid are slain - Los Angeles Times ] ]
Origins of the Money
According to the Mexican authorities, Ye Gon's money is product of drug-trafficking activities. However Ye Gon asserts that he was forced by Javier Alarcón, putatively identified as the Secretary of Labor, to keep it at his home, and that this money would be used during Felipe Calderón's presidential campaign in 2005-2006.
Zhenli Ye Gon fled from Mexico to the United States. The Mexican government has requested the U.S. Justice Department for his extradition. However, Zhenli Ye Gon claims innocence and has hired David Zapp [David S. Zapp, Esq. www.davidzapp.com] , a well known criminal defense attorney from New York City.
July 18, through his lawyers, he held a press conference, and via telephone, once more he Zhenli Ye Gon claimed his innocence.
July 23, he was detained in Rockville, Maryland.
Ye Gon has been charged with only one Count - Conspiracy to traffic 500 grams or more of methamphetamine from Mexico into the US. His first hearing before a federal district judge in Washington, DC is set for August 3, 2007.
In pop culture
the phrase "coopela o cuello" with heavy Chinese accent became a popular catchphrase in Mexico. Jokes, references in TV and radio , and even songs have been made referring to this incident.
[VIDEO OF THE "COOPELA O CUELLO" SONG ] [http://www.livevideo.com/video/proxemia/B3577ACB36F7439BBDC733D7ABE2AF92/tech-mex-feat-zhenli-ye-gon-.aspx]
* [http://www.esmas.com/noticierostelevisa/mexico/615224.html Asegura PGR cuentas a Zhenli Ye Gon]
* [http://www.nuevoexcelsior.com.mx/main.aspx?pid=55&idioma=27&parent=99999999.5.¬icia=24394 La vida íntima de un “empresario” chino]
* [http://www.geowis.de/product_info.php?products_id=431&osCsid=b52a4356a43742a4a8f50c711371c2b4 One ton of cash (Article in German language: Eine Tonne Cash)]
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