By MARK LORENZANA
Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is investigating former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for allegedly receiving wire transfers amounting to 26 million pesos.
On the morning of Thursday, July 7, during the daily press conference of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Pablo Gómez Álvarez, head of the FIU, said that the money transfers were allegedly made by a direct relative of the former president from a bank account in Mexico to Spain.
Gómez Álvarez made it clear that Peña Nieto has not been charged with a crime, and said that he did not know whether the money transfers were legal. “As long as there is no prosecution of a case, there is no crime,” Gómez Álvarez said.
The head of the FIU said that there were at least three wire transfers amounting to 26 million pesos, purportedly sent from Mexico to Spain by a family member of Peña Nieto, and these transfers are currently under scrutiny.
Gómez Álvarez also said that Peña Nieto was purportedly connected to two businesses with alleged “financial irregularities,” including a family business that sent hundreds of international transfers that totaled $76 million spread out across several years.
López Obrador said Peña Nieto was not being accused of money laundering, but that the money transfers needed to be investigated.
The former president addressed the accusations through his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.
”I am certain that before the competent authorities, I will be allowed to clarify any question about my assets and demonstrate their legality,” Peña Nieto tweeted.
In May of last year, AMLO ordered a probe after allegations surfaced that the Peña Nieto administration awarded government contracts to a company tied to the former president’s family.
According to an investigative report by Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, between 2013 and 2018, Peña Nieto’s administration awarded $640 million in contracts to Plasti-Esteril, a company founded by his family in 1991, as well as medical-supply company Baxter International Inc.