Mexico’s ex-president Pena Nieto faces financial probe
Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico’s former president Enrique Pena Nieto faces an investigation into international transfers of more than a million dollars that he received in Spain, the country’s anti-money laundering agency said Thursday.
Pena Nieto, who was in office from 2012-2018 and now lives in Madrid, denied any wrongdoing.
Pablo Gomez, head of the finance ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit, told reporters that Pena Nieto had received around 26 million pesos ($1.27 million) sent by a relative in Mexico.
The movements had come under scrutiny because they were cash transfers and the origin of the funds is unknown, he said, adding that the case had been referred to federal prosecutors.
Pena Nieto is also believed to have ties with two companies that won lucrative contracts with the Mexican state during his term, Gomez added.
Pena Nieto tweeted in response that he was “certain that I will be allowed to clarify before the competent authorities any questions about my assets and demonstrate their legality.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-wing populist who replaced Pena Nieto in 2018, has repeatedly denounced alleged corruption under his predecessors.
A referendum Lopez Obrador championed last year on whether former presidents should be prosecuted failed to draw anywhere near enough voters to the polls for the exercise to be binding.
According to Mexican media, Pena Nieto lives in an exclusive district of Madrid known for its high rents and tight security, alongside neighbors including movie stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Thursday that Pena Nieto’s lawyer, Juan Collado, who was arrested in Mexico in July 2019 on charges including money laundering, owns a $5 million home in the Four Seasons hotel in Madrid.
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