On 20 August 2012, Nicaraguan authorities arrested eighteen Mexicans when they attempted to enter Nicaragua posing as journalists for Mexican media conglomerate Televisa. The fake journalists traveled in six vans, each with the Televisa logo and registrations showing the vans as owned by Televisa. Televisa denied any relationship with the detainees, and stated that the vehicles were not authentic Televisa vans.
In the vans were news cameras, cables, satellite equipment, papers on Televisa letterhead—and more than US$9 million in cash. Nicaraguan police got an anonymous tip and detained the convoy, coming from Honduras, at the Las Manos border crossing. A search found traces of cocaine in the vans and revealed that their press credentials were falsified. During individual interrogations, crew members gave the police conflicting accounts of their plans, making it difficult to determine their reason for travel, though is is likely they were headed for Costa Rica. Police in both Mexico and Nicaragua are investigating the possibility that the detainees had made similar trips previously using the same Televisa cover to smuggle cash throughout Central America.
The eighteen fake journalists, lead by Raquel Alatorre Correa alias La Licenciada, are now alleged to be linked to transnational criminal organization, Los Zetas. Most of those arrested are from Tamaulipas or Durango, states where Los Zetas prevail. They are set to be tried in Nicaragua on 3 December 2012 on charges of money laundering. Meanwhile, Mexican prosecutors are investigating Televisa employees and public servants to determine how the vehicles were registered as Televisa property. Nicaragua has provided fingerprints, copies of the confiscated passports and paperwork, and recordings of their interviews of the suspects to the Mexican Attorney General.