Zhenli Ye Gon
Zhenli Ye Gon (C), a businessman accused of working with drug cartels, is escorted by Interpol agents after arriving from the United States on a extradition flight in a hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico, October 18, 2016 Reuters

The United States has extradited China-born businessman Zhenli Ye Gon to Mexico on Tuesday (18 October) after he lost a nine-year legal battle against his deportation. Zhenli has been taken to the Altiplano maximum-security prison near Mexico City.

The 53-year-old owns a pharmaceutical company in Mexico and has been accused of producing and trafficking illegal drugs into Mexico from Asia. He fled to the US in 2007 after Mexican police seized $205m (£167m) in cash from his mansion. He was arrested near Washington the same year.

According to Deputy Attorney-General Salvador Sandoval Silva, the Shanghai-born man used to import huge amounts of chemicals from China to produce the synthetic drug methamphetamine. He faced charges of conspiracy, drug-related crimes, possession of illegal weapons and conducting operations with illegal earnings.

Although, the US charges were dismissed in 2009, he remained in jail for the extradition process, which was requested by Mexico and was approved by a US court in 2011.

Zhenli had pleaded not guilty to charges levelled against and claimed that his company, Unimed Pharm Chem Mexico, was producing legal prescription medicines.

In 2013, the Las Vegas Sands Corp casino company paid $47m to the government to avoid being charged for not alerting authorities about the notorious businessman gambling at its Venetian-Palazzo hotel complex in Las Vegas. According to authorities, Zhenli had gambled away $126m between 2004 and 2007.