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The three ex-bureaucrats arrested for embezzlement. The three ex-bureaucrats arrested for embezzlement.

Ex-finance officials stole 190 million pesos in a theft they called ‘easy’

The former Mexico City employees described their salaries as 'miserable'

Three former Mexico City finance officials were arrested this week for hacking into the finance department’s bank accounts and stealing 190 million pesos (US $10 million).

In June 2018, Berenice Guerrero Hernández, a former financial planning undersecretary, ex-funds and assets director José Iván Morales Palafox and former general director of financial administration Gabriel Rincón Hernández transferred the funds from two Secretariat of Finance accounts to a shell company.

After their arrest on Monday, the three reportedly said the embezzlement was “easy” and that they didn’t believe they would be caught because the finance department was in a state of “disaster” at the time.

The theft occurred just before last year’s elections and about six months before the new government took office.

The officials also said they were paid “miserable” salaries, the newspaper El Universal reported.

The embezzled funds were earmarked to pay the salaries of employees of other Mexico City secretariats, and close to 10,000 workers were affected.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said yesterday that the comptroller’s office has identified irregularities in virtually all of the capital’s secretariats since she took office last December.

Some warrant administrative sanctions while others are criminal offenses, she said.

The finance department embezzlement case was referred to the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office, which launched an investigation that led to this week’s arrests.

Sheinbaum, a political ally of President López Obrador and member of his Morena party, said her administration’s aim is to eradicate corruption in all government departments.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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