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Ex-Quintana Roo government official arrested for illicit enrichment

Chetumel, Quintana Roo — Another ex-government official has been arrested by federal authorities, this time Juan Melquiades Vergara Fernandez, former head of the Secretariat of Finance and Planning and current PRD candidate for federal deputy of District 03 in the state of Quintana Roo.

The arrest came after a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) for embezzlement and illicit enrichment through his company, Travel Channel.

The arrest was announced by Alonso Israel Lira Sala, head of Special Prosecutor’s Office in Investigation of Organized Crime who at a press conference in Mexico City indicated that the officers obtained an arrest warrant from a district judge in the State of Mexico.

The indictment filed last March requested an investigation into contracts that Vergara supposedly obtained with his company involving governments of Rafael Moreno Valle (Puebla), Javier Duarte (Veracruz), Manuel Velasco (Chiapas), Rolando Zapata (Yucatan), Roberto Borge ( Quintana Roo) and Fernando Toranzo (San Luis Potosí).

The Attorney General of the Republic indicated that the investigation, in charge of the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Investigation of Organized Crime began in September 2017 derived from a complaint filed by the Tax Administration Service (SAT) for the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin (money laundering) before the Public Ministry of the Federation.

The complaint states that thirteen companies issued invoices of non-existent operations to another company, which declares them fiscally considering them as deductible expenses, serving as a vehicle to carry out operations with other people.

“It is the presence of a scheme to hide resources,” said Lira Sala.

The scheme generated the withholding of income tax in excess of 261 million peso without making the payment and without having workers registered in the Mexican Institute of Social Security.

The initial hearing will be held at the Federal Criminal Justice Center in the State of Mexico, where the process will be requested for the crime of Operations with Illicit Proceeds, in the form of acquiring resources, with knowledge that they had come from an illicit activity.