“Chava” for Borderland Beat
|Genaro García Luna|
Genaro García Luna, former Secretary of Public Security in the presidential term of former President Felipe Calderón, hid more than $50 million dollars in tax havens through a network of companies, according to an international media outlet.
According to the report, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Mexican government filed two complaints against the former federal official, who was arrested in 2019 in Texas and faces four charges in the United States: distribution in that country of a substance that contained cocaine, possession of that drug, drug trafficking and for making false statements when applying for American naturalization.
“When García Luna was detained in the United States, we already had the investigation concluded. We were preparing a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and to the Secretariat of the Civil Service, and we were able to immediately freeze the accounts,” said Santiago Nieto, head of the UIF.
“We found the entire García Luna money laundering scheme. [He] hired front companies. Transfers deposits were made in the accounts of the front companies, which were then withdrawn in cash,” he continued.
The UIF found that this money was moved to accounts established in the United States, Barbados, Hong Kong, Israel, Latvia, Panama, United Kingdom, Cyprus and Curaçao.
Due to the investigation carried out by the UIF, the Ministry of Finance ordered that the bank accounts of the former secretary, as well as his wife, Cristina Pereyra, his sister and his business associates, Samuel Weinberg, Alexis Weinberg and José Luis Castilla, be frozen.