Labor Party leader Quiroz. Labor Party leader Quiroz.

Party leader accused of money laundering

Probe finds Labor Party politician obtained illegal income of 68 million pesos

The leader of the Labor Party (PT) in Aguascalientes was a co-conspirator in a money laundering ring and carried out some of his illegal financial transactions from banking facilities within the federal Senate building, according to an investigation by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR).

Héctor Quiroz García appeared before a judge at a preliminary hearing Tuesday inside a Mexico City prison following his arrest on Monday in relation to the allegations.

Between 2012 and 2017, Quiroz illegally obtained income totaling almost 68 million pesos (US $3.56 million), the PGR investigation established, and during the same period he made 153 bank withdrawals totaling 40 million pesos.

Just under half the withdrawals were made in Mexico City, the location of the Senate.

The judge released Quiroz on a 600,000-peso (US $31,500) bail, prohibited him from leaving the country and ordered that he report to authorities in either Mexico City or Guanajuato on a weekly basis. Another hearing will be held Saturday to determine if the case will proceed to trial.

The PGR first started its investigation into the state leader in 2010 after its Financial Intelligence Unit determined that Quiroz was involved in a money laundering ring led by María Guadalupe Rodríguez Martínez, the wife of national PT leader Alberto Anaya.

But this year, the federal agency uncovered further evidence that Quiroz was implicated in the illegal scheme and consequently arrested and detained him on Monday in Aguascalientes before transferring him to Mexico City.

From February to June, Rodríguez allegedly diverted 100 million pesos from the Nuevo Léon Secretariat of Education. The money was supposed to go to Cendis child development centers in the state, of which she is the director.

But instead the PGR detected that it was dispersed between four bank accounts, one of which was held in the name of Héctor Quiroz. Of the almost 13 million pesos deposited to the account in Quiroz’s name, over 11 million pesos were withdrawn in 57 transactions.

Labor Party leader Anaya claims that the PGR investigation is politically motivated, labeling it an act of intimidation in response to his party’s decision to support Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Morena party in next year’s presidential election.

“They are making a mistake in investigating [this case], they’re not going to find criminals in the opposition . . . the leadership of the Labor Party is clean. We have not committed any [crime of] illicit enrichment. In the PT, we’re not going to crack . . . we’ll run with Andrés Manuel López Obrador at any cost,” he said.

Meanwhile, PT leaders in Nuevo León didn’t rule out the possibility that the PGR will also issue arrest warrants for Anaya and Rodríguez in relation to the alleged money laundering activities.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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