Mexican ex-security chief accused of stealing $250 million after leaving government

·2 min read

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A former Mexican security chief implicated in a money laundering scheme is accused of stealing $250 million in public funds after leaving his government job, according to a local media report. 

Ex-Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna, who is facing a lawsuit from Mexico over illegally obtained assets https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexico-files-us-lawsuit-against-ex-security-chief-linked-sinaloa-cartel-2021-09-21, allegedly hid the money stolen from the treasury in bank accounts in Barbados and the United States between 2012 and 2018, according to daily newspaper Reforma, which cited lawsuit documents. 

Garcia Luna led Mexico's Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005, was secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012, and was once considered a leader in Mexico's efforts to combat drug trafficking. 

Mexico's Financial Intelligence Unit said on Tuesday it launched a lawsuit in Miami against former security chief Garcia Luna and a network of 39 companies and trusts run by him and his associates to hide assets. 

The theft worth millions of dollars was orchestrated "through a complicated scheme of illegal public contracting," according to Reforma. The lawsuit, the Mexican agency's first in the United States, alleges that Garcia Luna and his associates created a group of companies to hide funds derived from acts of corruption, 

Garcia Luna pled not guilty last year to U.S. charges involving a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme to boost the Sinaloa cartel once headed by jailed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. 

Garcia Luna, who is in jail in the United States, had been living in Florida prior to his December 2019 arrest in Dallas. 

Neither Garcia Luna nor his lawyer could be reached immediately for comment. 

(Reporting by Raul Cortes and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Alistair Bell) 

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