Texcoco airport: MXN$17,000 million diverted

08/01/2019
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14:43
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Diana Lastiri
Texcoco airport: MXN$17,000 million diverted
The Texcoco airport - Photo: Berenice Fregoso/EL UNIVERSAL

Texcoco airport: MXN$17,000 million diverted

08/01/2019
14:43
Diana Lastiri
Mexico City
-A +A
EL UNIVERSAL had access to documents that detail the fund diversion that is being investigated by the Federal Police and Mexico's Attorney General's Office

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Federal authorities are investigating the alleged diversion of over MXN $17,000 million from the resources the Mexico City's Aiport Group (GACM) had allocated for the construction of Mexico's New International Airport (NAIM) in Texcoco.

EL UNIVERSAL had access to documents that detail the fund diversion that is being investigated by the Federal Police and Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR). The investigation links Raúl González Apaolaza, the former project manager and Carlos Noriega, the former GACM general administration manager, and it also highlights the need to investigate the assets of Manuel Ángel Núñez Soto, a former Hidalgo Governor and the former director of the GACM.

According to a report from the Federal Police, that was the result of an investigation ordered by the GACM's former director in January 2018, Federico Patiño, the institution investigated the possible commission of crimes during the construction of the NAIM by purchasing construction materials, such as tezontle and basalt, from companies and union linked to González Apaolaza without a contract and which didn't fulfill the quality standards required for the airport.

Patiño, the former director of the GACM, claims he didn't order the investigation but says he did receive an unsigned document, that he later sent to the GACM's internal control body.

The authenticity of the document was confirmed by the official in charge of the investigation. The official also sent us a copy of the report sent to the then National Security Commissioner, Renato Sales, who confirmed to EL UNIVERSAL that he had received it and that he decided to contact the PGR.

The report explains that union and companies supposedly controlled by González Apaolaza were benefited by being granted cargo transport contracts that earned them MXN $17,500 million, and the purchase of materials, which according to construction workers, were delivered to the location only after the union had approved it.

The report explains that “they practically paid three times the price of tezontle just to transport it,” as the price went from MXN $50 to MXN $200 per cubic meter, while basalt reached MXN $300.

According to the Federal Police, these actions indicate “an arranged action between officials and unions that could be categorized as organized crime, with the purpose of creating a transport monopoly with prices established by them and only through the use of their trucks.”

After all the anomalies found by the Federal Police, the authorities decided to included an inspection of the asset declarations of former GACM officials, where they found omissions and acquisition that don't correspond to their economic status.

González Apaolaza talked to EL UNIVERSAL and said he knows there is an allegedly apocryphal document from the Federal Police, as the number doesn't match the investigation and he denies being part of the union and any conflict of interest: “I think there is a mistake because, in previous years, I was part of another syndicate but I quit after I was appointed to the GACM but it has no relation with the SITRAM; they are not related,” he said. In regards to his relation to Reyes Vilchis, he said that he knows him because they played football together at the IPN 50 years ago.

Carlos Noriega Romero was the GACM general administration director, who was fired for renting offices for MXN $500,000 per month and the Federal Police inspected his asset declaration where it found that he acquired a property worth MXN $4,920,000. This purchase, according to the document, was made when Noriega Romero was the Deputy Planning Director at Infonavit; therefore, it considers that his finances and those of González Apaolaza should be audited.

As a result of the investigation, Manuel Ángel Núñez Soto, the former GACM director, was mentioned without actually being linked to the anomalies attributed to González Apaolaza and the unions. Núñez Soto no longer worked at the GACM when the construction of the NAIM began, but the Federal Police found that he didn't state he was the owner of Desarrolladora Corteq and Almahandm Desarrolladora de Vivienda, companies that seem to be part of the Lomax Group Corporation, owned by Alberto Manuel Díaz de la Riva but according to the investigation, said consortium doesn't exist.

The government hasn't released any more information in relation to the investigation.

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