Mexico plans to enforce Odebrecht fines via seizure: official

10/10/2018 – Reuters

architecture-building-city-439416Mexico plans to enforce fines imposed on Odebrecht over corruption allegations by confiscating some $30 million owed by state oil company Pemex to the Brazilian firm, a top official at the public administration ministry said.

Christian Ramirez, coordinator-general of the public administration ministry (SFP), told Reuters on Tuesday that he expected Mexico’s tax authority to seize the $30 million “in the coming months.”

Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht [ODBES.UL] has spent the past few years at the center of one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin America, and has admitted paying bribes from Peru to Panama.

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Mexico Prosecutor Blasts Courts After Ex-Governor Plea Deal

10/04/2018 – The New York Times

pexels-photo-690800.jpegA top Mexican prosecutor on Wednesday said judges were pushing defendants’ rights too far, pointing to a recent case where prosecutors had to accept a plea deal from a disgraced former governor or risk losing in court.

Federal prosecutor Felipe Munoz told reporters he was forced to take a nine-year sentence for a guilty plea to money laundering charges from former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte because he feared a court could throw out key financial information.

Duarte could serve much less time for good behavior. The plea deal sparked widespread outrage in Mexico over what is considered to be one of the biggest corruption cases uncovered in recent history.

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Canadian CEO Pleads Guilty in U.S. to Helping Drug Cartels

10/3/2018 – New York Times

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(Reuters) – The chief executive of a Vancouver-based company pleaded guilty on Tuesday to facilitating international narcotics traffic by supplying drug cartels with encrypted communications devices, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Secure communications devices supplied by Vinc

ent Ramos, chief executive of Phantom Secure, and four co-conspirators helped traffickers distribute cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in the United States, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Thailand and Europe, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Ramos admitted that at least 450 kg (1,000 pounds) of cocaine were distributed using Phantom Secure devices, the statement said, and he agreed to forfeit $80 million and other assets as part of the guilty plea.

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Mexico ex-governor pleads guilty to corruption, gets 9 years

09/27/2018 – The Washington Post 

jd.PNGMexican prosecutors said Thursday that the former governor of Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz has pleaded guilty to charges of organized crime and money laundering.

The plea deal was an anti-climactic end to Mexico’s highest-profile corruption case in recent years.

Javier Duarte took a leave from the governorship of Veracruz and fled to Guatemala before being extradited back to Mexico in July 2017 to face justice.

Duarte got a nine-year sentence and had 41 properties seized as part of the plea deal.

But Duarte will not have to pay reparations, and could apply for parole within as little as three years.

“In cases like these, we are never satisfied,” said federal prosecutor Felipe de Jesus Munoz. “We have to follow what the law says.” Munoz said that after serving 4½ years — half the sentence — Duarte could apply for parole, and that he will be credited for the 1 ½ years he has already spent in prison.

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Former Mexican Ruling Party Governor Sentenced to Nine Years in Jail

09/27/2018 – The New York Times

DuarteA disgraced former state governor from Mexico’s ruling party was sentenced on Wednesday to nine years in prison for money laundering and links to organized crime in a case that public auditors said was the worst they had ever seen in Mexico.

Javier Duarte, who governed the Gulf coast state of Veracruz for outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) until 2016, pleaded guilty to the charges in federal court, according to Mexican media.

The court also fined Duarte 58,890 Mexican pesos ($3,123) and seized 40 properties.

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Mexico’s next anti-money laundering czar vows action after ‘shameful’ Odebrecht

09/19/2018 – Reuters

bank-note-bills-budget-164661.jpgMexico’s incoming financial intelligence chief said it was “shameful” how little had been done about bribes that Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht executives said were paid to secure Mexican public works contracts, and vowed to reexamine the case once in office.

Santiago Nieto will head the finance ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which analyzes suspicious financial records, once the new leftist government takes office on Dec. 1. He said in an interview last week that the unit had been misused for political ends, without elaborating.

“It’s shameful that Mexico and Venezuela are the only countries in Latin America that haven’t sanctioned anyone,” he said of the Odebrecht case, which is at the heart of Brazil’s Lava Jato, or Car Wash, corruption investigation that has reverberated across the region in recent years.

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Mexican Tax Authority Takes Steps to Charge Odebrecht for Fines

9/9/2018 – New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican tax authority SAT has begun taking steps to charge Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht for fines levied on the company earlier this year, Mexican newspaper Milenio reported on Sunday.

In April, the Mexican government said it had fined Odebrecht around $60 million (46 million pounds), in addition to barring government agencies from doing business with the company, which is entangled in one of Latin America’s biggest corruption scandals.

A spokeswoman for Odebrecht did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the SAT declined to comment on a specific case.

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