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Mexican cartels offering $15K VIP ‘travel agency’ packages to help illegal immigrants sneak into US

Mexican cartels are now offering VIP “travel agency” packages worth as much as $15,000 to help illegal immigrants sneak into the United States via a stream of underground tunnels.

The so-called VIP smuggling has become so lucrative that the cartels are now focusing roughly 70% of their criminal activity on getting migrants across the US-Mexico border — instead of their usual drug trafficking, USA Today reported.

The La Linea cartel, for example, has allegedly been shepherding roughly 1,000 VIP migrants from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas every month, a senior Mexican official told the outlet.

“Criminals have shifted from their primary business, which was drug trafficking. Now 60-70% of their focus is migrant smuggling,” Arturo Velasco, the head of the Chihuahua attorney general’s office’s anti-kidnapping unit, said.

“A kilo of cocaine might bring in $1,500, but the risk is very high,” he continued. “The cost-benefit of trafficking a person is $10,000, $12,000, $15,000.”

The migration travel agency packages can range between $6,000 to $15,000 per person, according to both smugglers and migrants.

The VIP migrants are given a code, which identifies what cartel they’ve paid to help them, so they can avoid being harassed by local cops or rival syndicates as they traverse through the tunnels, according to officials.

Mexican National Guard members and immigration bureaucrats, as well as local cops, are allegedly in on the VIP ruse and have been accepting bribes from cartels, officials claimed.

In some cases, cops are even kidnapping migrants and keeping them in safe houses until they can find the money to pay a cartel for a VIP package.

“They load people onto their trucks, and they care for them, so that another cartel doesn’t abduct them,” one smuggler, identified only as Ricardo, said.

The cops then bring the VIPs to tunnel entrances and, in some instances, provide cover for the smugglers and migrants as they head to the border, he added.

Ricardo said he forks out nearly $600 per migrant for the police protection service.

“It’s millions of pesos in extortions and everyone is in on it,” Tony Payan, director of The U.S.-Mexico Center at Rice University, said of the VIP scheme.

Ricardo said he forks out nearly $600 per migrant for the police protection service.

“In other words, it’s an extortion force.”

Meanwhile, Juárez municipal police chief Cesar Omar Muñoz Morales denied allegations of corruption, insisting his department was clean and efficient.

“We’re doing the best we can,” he said.

News of the cartel’s VIP migrant operation emerged after it was revealed some 42,000 migrants have illegally crossed the border from Mexico in the days since President Biden issued a “crackdown” executive order earlier this month.

The June 4 order threatens to halt asylum processing at the US border if the average number of illegal arrivals crosses 2,500 per day in a week.

The average number of crossings each day has been roughly 3,200 since the order began, internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data leaked to The Post shows.

Border Patrol sources said most of the migrants are still being given court dates and released into the US — despite the Biden Administration’s claim the new measure would stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

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