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Stanford under federal drug investigation

THE US Federal Bureau of Investigation and others have been investigating whether Texas billionaire Allen Stanford was involved in laundering drug money for Mexico Gulf cartel, ABC News reported yesterday, citing federal authorities.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged Stanford and two executives of Stanford Group Co with an US$8 billion fraud.

Mexican authorities detained one of Stanford's private planes as part of the investigation, which has been ongoing since last year, ABC reported, citing unnamed officials.

Officials said checks found inside the plane were believed to be connected to the Gulf cartel, reputed to be Mexico's most violent gang, ABC reported.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the agency could not confirm or deny an investigation.

ABC cited authorities as saying that Stanford could potentially face criminal charges of money laundering and bribery of foreign officials.

Authorities said the SEC's action against Stanford on Tuesday may have complicated the federal drug investigation.


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