FGR expands investigation against scientists, they check even their licenses

Mexico. In its investigation of the Conacyt Case, the General Prosecutor of the Republic has undertaken an investigation that goes beyond the transfer of resources to the Consultative, Scientific and Technological Forum (FCCyT), the original reason for the investigation.

Tenure payments of the more than 30 scientists and academicstheir leases, driver’s licenses, registration and cancellation of license plates, circulation cards, tax returns without a complaint in between and reports of relevant unusual operations, all of this is investigated by the FGR in order to find any irregularity or crime.

Documents to which Grupo REFORMA had access indicate that the Specialized Prosecutor for Organized Crime (FEMDO) He sent letters to the Secretariats of Mobility and Administration and Finance of CDMX, as well as the Secretary of the Treasury, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, and the head of the Tax Administration Service (SAT), Raquel Buenrostro, to request this information.

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I do not omit to state that, in the case of not having the required information in the requested period (2013-2020), I request you to carry out a search of the records of your electronic information database or some other means that allows knowing the existence of data related to the scope of its powers,” says the official letter sent to the head of the SAT, from whom they requested the tax information of those involved, without there being a complaint or investigation folder for fraud against the treasury.

“It is made known to that tax authority that the investigation that motivates this request has as its object facts that appear to be the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin and, therefore, it is estimated, it should be agreed in a favorable manner.

On August 25 and September 22, a federal judge refused to order the arrests of 31 academics and scientists from Conacytwhom the Prosecutor’s Office intended to confine in the Altiplano Prison for the crimes of organized crime and money laundering.

The thesis of the FGR is that from January 2013 to June 2019 the Conacyt illegally transferred 244 million pesos to the FCCyT, by virtue of the fact that the latter was constituted as a civil association outside the organic structure of the council and before having its own statute.

It was after these two judicial setbacks, when the Prosecutor’s Office decided to track down information on the accused -including the FCCyT and the Laving Center for the Development of Innovation and Technology Transfer-, which goes beyond the Conacyt transfer. Before requesting the arrests, the FGR did not consider an investigation into these reports.

On November 22, the head of the FEMDO Anti-Money Laundering Unit, Ancelmo Mauro Jiménez Cruz, sent a request to Ramírez de la O to instruct the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to deliver the reports of relevant or worrying unusual operations of scientists.

As apparently there was no positive response, the official sent a letter on February 18 to Juan Ramos López, Competence Control Prosecutor and right-hand man of the head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz Manero, to request that information directly from the FIU.

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“Because of the foregoing, he requested that, in support of the functions of this Prosecutor’s Office, he turn his kind instructions to the appropriate person, so that through him the Head of the FIU is requested, if in the databases to which he has access there are records of reports of relevant or worrying unusual operations, in relation to the people listed,” Jiménez Cruz asks Ramos.

Likewise, please request the aforementioned Intelligence Unit so that, in the event that the information it has is sufficient to presume the commission of acts with the appearance of a crime, it makes a statement before this Specialized Unit, in order to fill the requirements imposed by law in this investigation”.

To Secretariat of Capital Mobilitythe Prosecutor’s Office asked him to carry out “a thorough search in its database and report if it has information on licenses, RFC, addresses, registration and cancellation of license plates, circulation cards, telephone numbers” of all academics and scientists.

To Secretary of Administration and Finance He requested information on the payments of holdings, taxes, conclusion of agreements, tenders, acquisition contracts, services (register of service provider, leases), of each one of those involved.

The head of the SAT already required him “urgently” to specify the RFC of all the accused of the Conacyt, their tax returns from 2013 to 2020 with their annexes and report any irregularity detected.

It specifies that if the declarations were presented by the format DeclaresSatthe agency must deliver to the Prosecutor’s Office the total income received, the amount of deductions, cumulative income, personal deductions made, type of declaration and data from the statement of financial position.

Now, in the same investigation, the FGR look for any type of anomaly unrelated to these facts that could constitute crimes of another nature.

The Attorney General’s Office added 5 new names to the list of people it is investigating in the case of the alleged diversion of 244 million pesos from Conacytincluding a businessman and four renowned scientists and academics.

In the two failed attempts to obtain arrest warrants, denied on August 25 and September 22, the FGR requested the arrests of 31 allegedly involved.

Now his investigation is going against 36 and one of the novelties is the inclusion of Manuel Martínez Fernández, husband of Julia Taguena Pargaformer coordinator of the Consultative Forum on Science and Technology (FCCyT).

Martínez Fernández was director of the UNAM Energy Research Centerpresident of the National Academy of Engineering and first general director of the Council of Science and Technology of Morelos.

José Antonio de la Peña Mena, from Monterrey, former director of the Institute of Mathematics of the UNAMformer vice president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and coordinator of the FCCyT.

There is also Jesús Antonio del Río Portilla, first director of the Renewable Energy Institute of the UNAM, an organization of which he is a senior researcher “C”, and current co-director of the Renewable Energy Unit of the Latin American Physics Center (CLAF).

In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating Karla Graciela Cedano Villavicencio, current secretary of Technological Management and Outreach at the UNAM Renewable Energy Institute, Morelos Campus, and former director of the Lavín Center for the Development of Innovation and Technology Transfer.

Another of the people investigated is the businessman Luis Martinez Lavin Garcia Lascurainpresident of Industrias Lavín de México, a company based in Morelos dedicated to the manufacture of cosmetics and beauty products.

Their names appear in the requests that the FGR sent to the secretariats of the federal Treasury, of Mobility, Administration and Finance of the CDMX and the SATrequiring information for the investigation carried out for the crimes of organized crime and money laundering.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the company Lavín Center for the Development of Innovation and Technology Transfer was incorporated on August 26, 2011 in Jiutepec, Morelos, and Martínez Fernández is one of the founders and shareholders.

Some publications also refer that the owner of Lavin Industries of Mexico together with Cedano and del Río they participated in the constitution of this company.

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What the FGR in his investigation is that this company was an intermediary before the Conacyt to manage millionaire financing for third parties, under an alleged conflict of interest, since Tagüeña dispatched in the Council and her husband was part of the company.

The Prosecutor’s Office even refers that when Tagüeña was technical secretary of the Institutional Fund ‘FOINS’authorized millionaire financing for projects coordinated by her husband at the UNAM Renewable Energy Institute.

Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, in his capacity as general director of Conacyt, and Julia Tagüeña Parga, as technical secretary of the Institutional Fund ‘FOINS’, authorized 1.5 million pesos to the Renewable Energy Institute of the UNAM, in which Manuel Martínez Fernández collaborated ( Tagüeña’s husband), who was administratively responsible for project 282309, beneficiary of the 1.5 million pesos,” says the indictment.

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