Mexico to investigate Jesús Murillo Karam over millionaire fund diversion

Jesús Murillo Karam's former administration at Mexico's Attorney General's Office is under investigation for embezzlement

Mexico to investigate Jesús Murillo Karam over millionaire fund diversion
Over MXN $102 million allocated to the PGR were not acounted for between 2013 and 2014 . Photo: Adrián Hernñandez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 03/07/2020 16:37 Diana Lastiri Mexico City Actualizada 16:50
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Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) is working on several complaints against Jesús Murillo Karam, former Attorney General, and several former officers of the General Office over illegal use of power stemmed from a possible diversion of over MXN $102 million.

Federal sources informed that the UIF, led by Santiago Nieto, is investigating the origin and destination of the federal resources Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office spent between 2013 and 2014 but that did not account for and whose destination is unknown to date.

Part of the money whose destination is unknown was distributed among 189 informants who received over MXN $8 million and for extraordinary bonuses, among which stands out the payment of over MXN $1 million to a former colleague of the former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa.

This is due to the money investigated being part of the National and Public Security Expenditures items to which a total of MXN $144,586,662.11 were allocated between 2013 and 2014, which should have been expended by the General Office and of which MXN $102,519,297 have not been accounted for.

Read more: Enrique Peña Nieto's administration diverted millions allocated to the health sector to shell companies

In order to demonstrate the expenditure, the administration of Murillo Karam informed different payments but did not deliver any invoice and most of the money was used in expenditures that are not part of the assigned Items.

Documents to which EL UNIVERSAL had access point out that authorities have not been able to identify the destination of those funds.

According to the investigation, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office has 296 files of minutes in which it tried to justify the expenditure which was allegedly distributed among informants, undercover operations, investigation expenses, support to victims, extraordinary bonuses for special functions and special officers, and the transfer of arrested people.

The files show that most of the money was spent under the concept of investigation expenses for a total of MXN $57,390,115, while another MXN $28,085,625 were used for undercover operations.

During those two years, the defunct PGR also paid MXN  $8,077,000 to informants, MXN $6,384,000 to support victims, MXN $2,367,557 for extraordinary bonuses, and MXN $215,000 for transferring arrested people.

The money used for informants was distributed among 189 pseudonyms who received, on average, payments worth MXN $42,735; the highest payment was worth MXN $63,500 and the lowest MXN $30,000.

Read more: Pemexgate: Carlos Romero Deschamps was protected by three federal governments

The documents with which the UIF is investigating the case underscores that, during the period in question, 14 people received MXN $2,367,557 over extraordinary bonuses.

Five of them worked for the PGR between 2013 and 2014; nevertheless, the one who received the largest amount, MXN $1,200,000, was José Contreras Mantecón, an old colleague of the former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa.

Nonetheless, from the 296 files with which the PGR tried to justify the expenditure of this item, only 96 make reference to the General Office, the area to which the funds were allocated, and cover only MXN $23,918,147.

From that amount, the expenses were distributed among informants (MXN $2,535,.000), undercover operations (MXN $2,925,000), investigation expenses of the PFM (MXN $18,243,147), and transferring arrested people (MXN $215,000).

These concepts, according to the reports, are handled as confidential, the reason why the PGR used it to justify the lack of invoices; however, the UIF’s analysis has shown the investigations of the General Office in that period did not increase nor showed improved results.

Hence, in addition to investigating the embezzlement within the General Office, the UIF has initiated an investigation on the expenditures of this concept in different offices.

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