In 2013, it was reported that the Mexican drug cartel Knights Templar was earning over $6 Million a month in various black market activities.
Based on intelligence agencies estimates, media organizations in Mexico stated that the cartel was earning $2.2 Million each month transporting illegal drugs. $1 Million was collected each month through extortion threats to local businesses, and another $1 Million raised from extorting local government officials. An addition $600,000 in illicit income was generated from car theft and kidnapping for ransom.
$1.3 Million in revenue was generated from legitimate businesses that the cartel operates. These businesses are also used as money laundering venues to launder the black market funds.
It should be noted that these funds are separate from any profits that the drug cartel earns from illegal drugs sales in the United States.
Source: Charles Parkinson, “Mexico’s Knights Templar Earns $73 Mn Before US Drug Profits,” Insight Crime, November 8, 2013.