Mexican authorities arrest Gerardo Sosa Castelán over money laundering at university 

The UAEH was being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit

Mexican authorities arrest Gerardo Sosa Castelán over money laundering at university 
The UIF announced that it had blocked several bank accounts of a state university for alleged money laundering in 2019 - Photo: File photo
English 31/08/2020 16:08 Diana Lastiri Mexico City Actualizada 16:13

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This morning, the Attorney General’s Office announced it had arrested Gerardo Sosa Castelán over money laundering charges. Sosa Castelán is a politician from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the head of the board of trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University (UAEH).

The board of trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University was under investigation since May 2019, when the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) discovered Sosa Castelán had incurred in irregularities. 
 
According to sources close to the investigation, authorities arrested Sosa Castelán after the UIF filed three lawsuits against him, where the government department accuses the politician of carrying out transactions with illegally obtained resources, embezzlement, and tax fraud. 
 
Moreover, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) indicates Gerardo Sosa Castelán hasn’t been able to prove the origin of MXN 151 million. Furthermore, the UIF accused Castelán of creating a money-laundering network and reports the UAEH hired these companies. 
 
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The Financial Intelligence Unit blocked the six bank accounts that contain the MXN 151 million. Although the resources belong to the Hidalgo university, Sosa Castelán controls the money due to his role as the president of the board of trustees. 

In March 2019, EL UNIVERSAL reported several universities were under investigation over money-laundering allegations.

The UAEH was being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), under the Finance Ministry, for allegedly laundering USD 150 million.
 
“It has come to our attention that the Autonomous University of Hidalgo received resources from Switzerland through bank accounts in 22 countries,” Santiago Nieto, the head of the UIF, said in an interview.
 
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Back then, Nieto argued that it was important to maintain secrecy in the analysis and disclosure of information, and refused to provide further details on the investigation so as not to undermine the ongoing inquiry.
 
The UIF announced that it had blocked several bank accounts of a state university for alleged money laundering on February 26, 2019.

Following a report issued by Mexico’s financial system on February 22, 2019, the UIF discovered that the university had received around USD 150 million. Simultaneously, the institution responded to a request by an international agency calling for Mexico’s cooperation on that particular case.

In 2019, the Hidalgo university released a statement claiming that the Mexican government had failed to follow due process in the investigation and denied the accusations. Furthermore, Adolfo Pontigo Logola, the university dean, stated that the institution would cooperate with authorities, though he warned that the UAEH would take legal action to protect the institution’s dignity.

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