By KELIN DILLON
New reports acquired through the Tax Administration Service’s (SAT) transparency law have revealed that Mexico’s Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) funneled more than 215 million pesos into shell companies between 2014 and 2019 via 3,242 invoices.
This time frame coincides with two years of the term of current Semar head Admiral José Rafael Ojeda Durán, who Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has touted as being “incorruptible.”
When made aware of the reports, Semar said it would review the information surrounding the Navy’s involvement with ghost companies and make punishments as necessary.
“The only explanation at this time is that these companies were not legally declared as companies when the invoices were created at the time these purchases were made,” said a spokesperson for the Navy.
Between 2013 and 2020, only three members of the Semar have faced repercussions for facilitating improper contracts, receiving a “private reprimand,” the lightest sanction procedure possible for the actions.