Andres granier Former Tabasco governor Granier.

Hunt continues for Granier’s Treasure

Authorities search for buried treasure in home linked to former water commission chief

Authorities in the state of Tabasco are hot on the trail of Granier’s Treasure, but the amount in question is small in relation to the total believed stolen by the state’s former governor.

Dogs belonging to the Federal Police have been called in to sniff out 100 million pesos believed buried in a cistern inside a home in the state capital Villahermosa. Police got a lead on the hidden money when a neighbor reported that thieves had been seen entering the house.

The three people detained have admitted they were hired by a man named Carlos to carry out an excavation and retrieve the hidden cash, in exchange for 3,000 pesos. The house is owned by Carlos Rodríguez Alvarado, brother of the former director of the state water commission, Cliseria Rodríguez Alvarado, who is now in jail and facing abuse of office and extortion charges.

The money is believed to have been stolen from the public purse during the administration of Andrés Granier Melo from 2007 to 2012. The former governor was arrested in June 2013 and faces charges of embezzling 20 billion pesos, fraud, money laundering and more.

Several other state government officials have also been implicated in the crimes, along with Granier’s son, Fabián Granier, now a fugitive from justice.

The investigations against Andrés Granier, 66, began after his successor, Gov. Arturo Núñez, revealed in February last year that Granier had left the state with a debt of 23 billion pesos.

Subsequent revelations included the discovery of 100 million pesos in cash in the office of the former state treasurer, that over 1 billion pesos in teachers’ income taxes had not been declared with the federal Finance Secretariat during a period of four years, that Granier was in possession of 35 million pesos obtained by illicit means, the diversion of 700 million pesos from health sector resources, and the purchase of expired medicines between 2008 and 2010.

In February it was determined that Granier, a chemist by profession, owned 900 properties and various bank accounts in other states and countries. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Back in Villahermosa, in the residential neighborhood of Palma Real, police continue digging for the buried treasure, a very small drop in the bucket compared to the total alleged to have been stolen.

Sources: Milenio (sp), Excélsior (sp)

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