(NBC NEWS) Six Chinese nationals have been charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and laundering the illicit funds for Mexican drug cartels, according to court documents filed Thursday.

The suspects made at least $30 million in an alleged scheme that continued from 2008 to late last month and involved funneling illicit drug money to traffickers in Latin America, including the feared Sinaloa cartel, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors allege that the men laundered their drug proceeds by purchasing products in the U.S. and shipping them to China. The products were then sold through “black market merchants” in China, the indictment says, with the money sent back to drug traffickers in Latin America, “often Mexicans,” through Chinese currency.

The effort, the indictment says, “required special care and skill” in money laundering.

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