Mexican Drug Cartels Are Expanding Into A New Industry — Wi-Fi, Prosecutors Say: REPORT

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Mia Hernandez Contributor
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State prosecutors for Michoacan in Mexico alleged Wednesday a cartel group has built internet antennas and is telling locals they must use them for Wi-Fi or will be killed, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The cartel group could potentially make $150,000 a month as it charged approximately 5,000 people 400 to 500 pesos, or $25 to $30 a month, to use the Wi-Fi service, prosecutors told The AP. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Top Border Official Testified To Congress Shocking Details Of Cartels’ Migrant Smuggling ‘Business Model’)

The people were told “to contract the internet services at excessive costs, under the claim that they would be killed if they did not,” prosecutors said, according to The AP. No deaths as a result have been reported.

A Twitter post reportedly features photos of the equipment with the caption, “A cartel in #Michoacán , #México , put up their own internet connection antennas and told locals they had to pay to use their wifi or they will be killed. The group could raise about $150,000 a month.”

Un cártel en #Michoacán, #México, colocó sus propias antenas de conexión a internet y dijo a los habitantes locales que tenían que pagar para usar su wifi o serán asesinados. El grupo podía recaudar unos 150.000 dólares al mes. Para @AP_Noticias:

These Wi-Fi antennas, or “narco-antennas” as dubbed by local media, were built from stolen equipment, according to The AP. Law enforcement took the equipment used by the group in late December, including antennas and routers with levels from Telmex, a Mexican internet company, The AP reported. In addition to this, one person was reportedly detained.

Prosecutors did not confirm what criminal group controlled the antennas due to the case being under investigation. However, local media named the Los Viagras cartel, and prosecutors confirmed the cartel group does have a presence in the towns that charged the locals for Wi-Fi, The AP reported.