Monday, June 17, 2024

Investigators probe Peña Nieto’s financial transactions at 50 banks

The federal government is conducting a probe into the financial transactions carried out by former president Enrique Peña Nieto and members of his family during the 2012-2018 term of his administration, according to a report by the newspaper El Universal.

The Ministry of Public Administration (SFP) sent a letter to the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) this month asking it to access information about transactions completed by Peña Nieto, his ex-wife Angélica Rivera and his four children, Paulina, Nicole, Alejandro and Diego.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by El Universal, was signed by Public Administration Minister Irma Sandoval and received by the CNBV on April 14.

It says that the SFP is carrying out an investigation into the wealth accumulated by Peña Nieto during his six-year term and asks the CNBV to seek information from at least 50 banks where the ex-president and his close family members might hold accounts.

They include Citibanamex, Santander, HSBC, Azteca, BBVA, the Bank of China México and the Bank of America México.

The financial transactions of former cabinet secretary Luis Miranda are also being investigated.
The financial transactions of former cabinet secretary Luis Miranda are also being investigated.

The SFP also asked the CNBV to seek information relating to transactions made by Peña Nieto and his family members at other financial institutions such as currency exchange houses and credit unions.

In response to a request made by El Universal for comment from the SFP about the authenticity of the letter to the CNBV, a spokesman said that information could not be provided about any investigations the ministry might be conducting.

El Universal also said that it sought comment from Peña Nieto but was unable to contact him. The ex-president has not been seen in public since September 2019 when he was photographed eating at a New York restaurant with his partner Tania Ruiz.

Peña Nieto’s government was plagued by corruption scandals including the so-called “master fraud” embezzlement scheme, in which federal agencies allegedly diverted billions of pesos in public money via shell companies, and the “white house” affair, in which the former president’s now ex-wife purchased a mansion built by a favored government contractor.

El Universal also reported on Friday that the government’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) has asked the CNBV to obtain information about financial transactions carried out by Institutional Revolutionary Party legislator Luis Enrique Miranda and his wife over the past decade.

Miranda was minister of social development for 16 months during the Peña Nieto administration.

Peña Nieto has kept a low profile since he left office, but has been seen occasionally with model Tania Ruiz.
Peña Nieto has kept a low profile since he left office, but has been seen occasionally with model Tania Ruiz.

UIF chief Santiago Nieto confirmed on Thursday that the federal deputy is under investigation but offered no details beyond saying that President López Obrador has told him that there must be “zero tolerance” in corruption cases.

The highest profile members of the Peña Nieto government who have been arrested on corruption charges are former cabinet secretary Rosario Robles and Emilio Lozoya, ex-chief of the state oil company.

Robles, who is implicated in the master fraud scheme, is currently in preventative custody awaiting trial, while the government is in the process of attempting to have Lozoya extradited from Spain, where he was arrested in February.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Peña Nieto was being investigated by the federal Attorney General’s Office in relation to the acts of corruption allegedly committed by Lozoya, who is accused of benefiting financially from Pemex’s purchase of a fertilizer plant at an allegedly inflated price and receiving US $10 million in bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht in exchange for a lucrative refinery contract.

López Obrador, however, denied any knowledge of a probe into his predecessor, stating that just because an investigation is reportedly taking place doesn’t make it a fact.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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