A Mexican cartel set up a fake security contractor to recruit new members to join their drug trafficking operations, according to a prosecutor’s Wednesday statements in Jalisco State.
The prosecutor’s case has led to the arrest of 13 people, including an American woman. Recruiting efforts by the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) were operated out of the tourist resort town of Puerto Vallarta, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutors caught a major break in the case because a newly-recruited CJNG member wanted to back out of the organization after having fallen for the scam. Rather than let the man leave, the CJNG cartel held him for ransom – for $55,500 – and his family told the cops about his predicament.
New cartel members immediately received weapons training with paintball guns for 10 days. Once training was complete, recruits fell into one of two categories of cartel operations: joining the hitmen – or sicarios as they are known – or becoming drug traffickers.
Advertising for jobs with the cartel was done through flyers touting the many benefits of joining the fake private security firm. Among the many promises in the flyers were: bonuses, quick ascent to management, and better pay than similar government work.
Weekly salaries started at $150 according to the flyers. Recruits could be paid more if they had previous security experience, such as working for the police according to Agence France-Presse.
CJNG is known for its increasingly high profile among Mexican cartels. In 2015 the cartel achieved a whole new level of notoriety when it used a rocket launcher to bring down a government helicopter.
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