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US prosecutors seek $14bn seizure from drug lord El Chapo

(UDHAYAM, UNITED STATES) – Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has pleaded not guilty in the US to charges that he ran the world’s largest drug-trafficking operation.

The head of the Sinaloa cartel was extradited from Mexico on Thursday.

US prosecutors want an order to seize $14bn (£11.3bn) of his assets.

In 2015, Mr Guzman famously escaped from a high-security prison through a tunnel – while being recorded on CCTV. He had fought against extradition since his recapture in early 2016.

Federal authorities have sought Mr Guzman for more than 20 years. He faces 17 charges including drug trafficking, illegal firearms use, money laundering, and smuggling cash across the border.

Ahead of his first appearance in a New York court, prosecutors revealed that they would seek the civil forfeiture of Mr Guzman’s assets to the amount of $14bn – an indication of the extent of his empire.

“He’s a man known for no other life than a life of crime, violence, death and destruction. And now he’ll have to answer to that. That’s who Chapo Guzman is,” said US attorney Robert Capers.

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