Santiago Nieto, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), explained that the approval in the Senate of the reform to the Credit Institutions Law, known as the Nieto Law, is in compliance with international treaties.
He indicated in an interview for On the radio that “Mexico has been part of the Financial Action Task Force (GAFI, for its acronym in English) since 2000 and recommendations 4 and 38, oblige the existence of an effective, direct and immediate mechanism to block accounts and prevent resources of illicit origin from being introduced into the financial system at a global level. It is about overcoming that jurisprudence of (Eduardo) Medina Mora “
The aforementioned refers to the blocking of accounts by the agency is only valid if it is an international request or supranational, but not a local inquiry, which seeks to reverse, in accordance with the approach of Santiago Nieto.
On Wednesday, November 18, the full Senate approved with 45 votes in favor and 27 against and the opinion returned to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion and a vote for its approval. With the foregoing, the Ministry of Finance, in particular the FIU, may block and freeze accounts of persons indicated for terrorism or money laundering. The opinion also guarantees the right to a hearing and other procedural prerogatives for the indicated persons.
The financial institution must notify the client or user that they have been included in the List of Blocked Persons (PLB), and not the FIU or the Treasury. The head of the UIF highlighted the presumption of innocence that exists “a guarantee of audience where they can offer evidence and the block is temporary. “
The Financial Intelligence Unit blocked 12,000 bank accounts and so far this year there are already 13,000 accountsIn the case of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, the amount amounts to 1,000 million pesos blocked and the Zócalo operation was 1,300 bank accounts of 14 criminal groups.
“Actually, what the international standard calls for is that there be an effective and direct mechanism for freezing accounts, that there is no need for a court order, let us remember that when an irregularity is detected, the blockade is carried out immediately, instead of requesting another instance to carry out the operation, because there is a risk that the information is disseminated and then they will withdraw the money, ”he explained. The criterion changed in 2018 and gave the possibility of filing amparo proceedings.
He exemplified that it is about avoiding what happened in the case of Kamel Nacif, it is that he was able to unblock 800 million pesos through an amparo, because the request to block accounts did not come from an international request, and he was able to get the money out of the country.
So far this administration, 7,500 million pesos have been frozen, of which 2,000 million pesos have not been claimed by anyoneWhat would be sought is that this money be reincorporated for investment in government programs.
In relation to the case of Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former head of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), for whom the criminal charges against him were dismissed in the United States and in Mexico, the Attorney General’s Office notified him upon his arrival in the country that they have an investigation against him .
Santiago Nieto declared for On the radio that there is no investigation against him. “What we have is the willingness to work with the Prosecutor’s Office and if you request any information from us, we will deliver it immediately. In the event that there is any type of irregularity, it is important that the administrative and ministerial authorities “.