Panama Provides Evidence in US Drug Case Against Genaro Garcia Luna

“MX” for Borderland Beat

Genaro Garcia Luna served as the Secretary of Public Security from 2006 to 2012.

The United States Department of Justice added new evidence against Genaro García Luna, former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico. Among them include some incriminating files provided by the Government of Panama that supports the case that Garcia Luna was involved in drug trafficking.

This is the first time that the US government receives evidence from Panamanian authorities for a high-profile drug case. Last July, the US government provided evidence that Garcia Luna was involved in a cocaine shipment that was seized off the Panamanian coast.

The new evidence also includes photographs and videos of Garcia Luna, documents from Mexican judicial authorities, copies of his passport, financial reports, and property records.

García Luna was Secretary of Public Security from 2006 to 2012, during the presidency of Felipe Calderon. In December 2019, he was arrested in Texas, after being accused by the federal authorities in New York of supporting the Sinaloa Cartel. Investigators say he provided protection to the cartel and received millions of dollars from Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, once considered Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord.

“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 Transfers deposits were made in the accounts of the front companies, which were then withdrawn in cash,” an investigator from the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) confirmed.

The UIF said that this money was moved to accounts established in the United States, Barbados, Hong Kong, Israel, Latvia, Panama, United Kingdom, Cyprus and Curaçao.

In Panama, Garcia Luna paid himself through a company known as Nunvac Inc., which sent him millions of dollars when he lived in Miami and helped maintain his “luxurious lifestyle”.

Sources: Milenio; Cobertura 360; Borderland Beat archives