Another crime could be added to the charge sheet of former governor Roberto Borge Angulo after authorities in Quintana Roo uncovered a payment of more than 1 billion pesos that is suspected to have ended up in his pocket.
It is alleged that Borge embezzled 1.05 billion pesos (US $54.7 million) paid by water supply company Aguakan for its concession to distribute potable water in the municipalities of Benito Juárez (Cancún), Isla Mujeres and Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) until 2052.
The newspaper Reforma reports that the company made the deposit in 2014 to an account of the State Water and Sewer Commission. The funds were then transferred to the Secretariat of Finance and Planning but after that it is unclear where the money went.
“From there, it disappeared,” said Finance Secretary Juan Vergara Fernández.
The final destination of the money is being investigated by the Quintana Roo Secretariat of Public Management as part of its probe into Borge’s finance secretary, Juan Pablo Guillermo Molina, who is also accused of diverting funds, in his case more than 400 million pesos.
Borge was arrested on Sunday night in Panama City on corruption charges as he was waiting to board a flight to Paris.
The federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) says that it will do all it can to ensure that he remains in custody while extradition proceedings take place.
However, Panama, like Mexico, does not automatically enforce preventative custody in money-laundering cases so there is a possibility that Borge will be released on bail.
Israel Lira Salas, the head of SEIDO — the agency responsible for investigating organized crime — told Reforma that because Borge has sufficient resources to be considered a flight risk they would make “a formal request that he be kept in detention.”
While ultimately it will be a decision for Panamanian authorities, the hope is that an exception will be made in the ex-governor’s case to ensure that he doesn’t flee and eventually faces trial in Mexico.
The PGR has already requested the continued provisional detention of Borge and is expected to formally lodge a request for repatriation within 6o days.
Source: Reforma (sp)