MEXICO CITY, September 23 (Reuters) – A former Mexican security chief implicated in a money laundering scheme is accused of stealing $ 250 million in public funds after leaving his government post, local media report .
Former Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna, who is on trial in Mexico for illegally obtained assets, is said to have hidden the stolen treasury money in bank accounts in Barbados and the United States between 2012 and 2018, according to the Reforma daily, which cites prosecution documents.
Garcia Luna headed the Federal Investigation Agency of Mexico from 2001 to 2005, was Secretary of Public Security from 2006 to 2012, and was once considered a leader in Mexico’s efforts to combat drug trafficking .
Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit said on Tuesday it had launched a lawsuit in Miami against former security chief Garcia Luna and a network of 39 companies and trusts run by him and his associates to hide assets.
The multi-million dollar theft was orchestrated “through a complicated scheme of illegal government procurement,” Reforma said. The lawsuit, the Mexican agency’s first in the United States, alleges that Garcia Luna and his associates created a group of companies to hide funds derived from acts of corruption,
Garcia Luna pleaded not guilty last year to charges against the United States over a multi-million dollar bribery program to bolster the Sinaloa cartel, once led by drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman .
Garcia Luna, who is in prison in the United States, lived in Florida before his arrest in December 2019 in Dallas.
Neither Garcia Luna nor his lawyer could be reached immediately for comment.
Reporting by Raul Cortes and Cassandra Garrison Editing by Alistair Bell
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