Crime & Justice

Mexican AG’s office investigating ex-president over financial transactions

Mexico City, Jul 7 (EFE).- Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office is investigating ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto over potential “transactions involving illicitly sourced funds.”

“The complete information with all the details and specifics has been provided to the AG’s office,” which has launched an investigation, Pablo Gomez, head of the Mexican government’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), said Thursday.

The UIF, a unit of the Finance Secretariat, “detected a scheme” whereby the ex-president “obtained economic benefits via international transfers” totaling just over 26 million pesos (around $1.25 million).

“These funds were transferred by a female blood relative from an account in Mexico to Spain,” Gomez said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference at Mexico City’s National Palace.

Three separate transfers were made: one for 16 million pesos on Aug. 21, 2019, and two for 5 million pesos apiece on Oct. 20, 2021, and Oct. 29, 2021.

The UIF launched its investigation in response to the transfers carried out in October of last year.

The ex-president’s relative made withdrawals totaling 189 million pesos in cash and deposits totaling 47 million pesos between 2013 and 2022, according to Gomez, who said the source of those funds is unknown.

The UIF also detected that the ex-president, who was in office from 2012 to 2018, has alleged corporate links with two companies “with fiscal and financial irregularities,” Gomez said, without identifying those firms.

“We’re talking about matters that may be related to public service, but that hasn’t been established at this time,” Gomez added.

The investigation has been launched despite Lopez Obrador having pledged not to seek “revenge” against or “persecute” his predecessors.

Speaking at the press conference, Lopez Obrador said his administration must provide information about “politically exposed” persons to the AG’s office but expressed his opposition to “summary trials.”

“This is not to come out and say, ‘former President Peña (Nieto) is accused of money laundering.’ No. There’s information about transactions that were carried out,” the leftist head of state said.

He stressed that judges and the AG’s office must determine if a crime was committed. EFE


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