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Rigada, dismissed for taking bribes. Rigada, dismissed for taking bribes.

Customs official fired for accepting bribes

Legal support chief took money in exchange for allowing used vehicle imports

The head of the Customs legal support department of the Federal Tax Administration (SAT) has been dismissed for accepting bribes to allow the import of used vehicles.

Marcoflavio Rigada Soto had been singled out as early as 2014 for belonging to an influence peddling network that included Customs officers, judges and federal deputies of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

An investigation ordered by Customs chief Ricardo Treviño Tapia concluded with Rigada’s dismissal last Wednesday.

According to the investigation, Rigada received up to US $3 million from other Customs agents and import firms in exchange for the hassle-free import of vehicles that lacked all the necessary documentation.

Sources close to the case told the newspaper Reforma that Rigada charged large sums of money, claiming that he in turn had to pay off the head of the agency.

Rigada also authorized other individuals to become Customs agents by granting them what SAT calls a “Customs patent” (patente aduanal), a permit or license for which Rigada allegedly demanded “millions in payment.”

One of the agents was Roberto Ruiz Armas, who operated in the San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, Customs office and imported hundreds of vehicles through several import firms, including Cox Automotive and Auto Buyline Systems Inc.

According to complaints, Customs agents and other staff in San Luis Río Colorado engaged in illegal importation.

As of yet there has been no legal action announced against Rigada or other members of the influence peddling network.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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