Mexicans in Malaysia May Hang for Drug Trafficking

By Kirwan Gray 05/02/11

Malaysian prosecutors seek the death penalty in the case of 3 Mexican men who may or may not having known what they were getting into.

Arrested for meth-making in Malaysia.
Photo via borderlandbeat

There are so many ways for things to go wrong in the drug business. A recent Associated Press report by Alexandra Olson lays out the story of the Gonzalez bothers from Sinaloa, Mexico—a state often called the “cradle” of Mexico’s drug industry. The three brothers told their family that they had a job opportunity elsewhere, and left without further explanation. But the move was understandable, as Jose, Luis, and Simon, all in their late 30s or early 40s, had only a meager family brick-making operation to look forward to, where on a good day they could make maybe $25. Imagine the family’s shock, then, when they received news that the three brothers had allegedly exchanged the dead bodies in the streets of their hometown for employment in a Malaysian methamphetamine factory. Police say the factory was a $15 million operation, and that the brothers “knew what they were doing,” in the words of the Malaysian prosecutor who will be seeking the mandatory sentence—death by hanging—for drug trafficking and for working on behalf of the Sinaloa drug cartel. “They are not guilty,” a Malaysian attorney for the brothers told AP. “They are not drug traffickers.”

U.S. drug enforcement officials say that Mexican cartels have ties to Asian suppliers of precursor chemicals for manufacturing meth, and may be seeking to pick up a piece of the Asian market themselves. The Kuala Lumpur High Court recently declined to throw out the case, and set a court date for the brothers. “They never told us where they were going,” their sister said. “They only said they were going to try their luck at another job.” She said men her brothers played soccer with had told them about job opportunities abroad. The Gonzalez brothers are believed to be the first Mexicans ever tried on drug charges in Malaysia. The trial begins this week.

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