Nayarit Governor investigated for illicit enrichment

Roberto Sandoval and 10 members of his inner circle are currently being investigated by the Office of the Attorney General
Roberto Sandoval - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
28/08/2017
11:00
Newsroom
Tepic, Nayarit
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The Office of the Attorney General (PGR) is currently investigating Nayarit Governor, Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, for illicit enrichment, as well as the alleged involvement of 10 individuals of his inner circle in the acquisition of real estate, livestock, horses and public works contracts – from which they have also benefited.

The claim was filed by a group of politicians – among them, Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) member Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo – and the Assistant Attorney General Office Specialized in Federal Crimes launched the investigation against Roberto Sandoval and his Public Works secretary, Gianni Ramírez.

The information provided so far by the Mexican Office of the Attorney General says the estates of the Nayarit Governor and his inner circle don't match their incomes, which is why a network of notary publics – allegedly involved in their activities –  has been included in the investigation.

The investigation includes the RIE Foundation, a children rehabilitation center with hippotherapy, which may be used as the front for the import of fine horses.

The link between former Chihuahua Governor, César Duarte – currently being investigated for several crimes – and Sandoval Castañeda for their illegal enrichment through livestock is also being investigated.

EL UNIVERSAL has visited Sandoval's ranches, but both of them appear abandoned. Locals and sources close to the investigation claim all the horses have been removed from the property – one month before the governor is expected to step down.

In the six years the governor held his office, Sandoval acquired horses, ranches, real estate and lived a luxurious life, in addition to allowing himself a couple of eccentricities which he made public through a video he gave to the media to showcase his ranch, El Sueño, and his relationship with singers Joan Sebastian and El Cheque Peña.

The main investigation line is his close relationship with the former attorney general of the state, Edgar Veytia, arrested in the United States for the manufacture, import, and distribution of unspecified quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

Yet not only would Sandoval have benefited from the operations of Veytia. An organized structure, confirmed to this newspaper by sources close to the investigation, details that one of the main operators was Sandoval's nephew, Hugo Ismael Sánchez, who appears as the collector of a compulsory fee of 20% from State departments – and part of the money was transferred directly to Sandoval.

Even if Edgar Veytia is currently under arrest in the United States, the Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) is investigating the staff of the Nayarit's Attorney Office.

For his part, Roberto Sandoval has said through his Twitter and Facebook accounts, that due to the political times Mexico is currently going through, the accusations are nothing more than a “political bashing” and “defamation”, and has requested he be allowed to refute the accusations.

During an interview EL UNIVERSAL had with the governor on August 9, Sandoval claimed he was a “transparent and clean man” and that he wouldn't leave the country after he steps down.

He claimed he never received money from Edgar Veytia and denied his acquisition of fine horses, stating that the horses he has were ranch horses raised in his State, some of which have been given away as presents.

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