Mexico City – Mexico has launched a lawsuit in Miami, Florida against former security chief Genaro García Luna and a network of companies he and his staff run in hopes of recovering illegally obtained assets, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) said on Tuesday with.
Ex-Security Secretary García Luna pleaded guilty last year to US allegations of a multi-million dollar bribery program allegedly aimed at boosting the Sinaloa cartel, once spearheaded by jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
García Luna headed Mexico’s federal investigative agency from 2001 to 2005, was Minister of Public Security from 2006 to 2012, and was once considered a leader in Mexico’s efforts to combat drug trafficking.
However, US prosecutors say the Sinaloa cartel bribed García Luna throughout his reign to ensure safe passage for his drugs, learn about rival cartels, and learn of Mexican investigations into his activities.
The UIF said the lawsuit, the first by the Mexican agency in the United States, involves 39 companies and trusts owned by García Luna, his employees or family members.
“The lawsuit alleges that the defendants are members of a large group of companies founded by García Luna and his co-conspirators and used to hide resources stemming from acts of corruption,” UIF said in a statement.
García Luna was not immediately available for comment.
García Luna, who is in prison, lived in Dallas, Florida before his arrest in December 2019.
UIF said the case was brought to a Florida court because “a significant number of companies and properties have been identified in the state that have been linked to the acts of political corruption and money laundering that make up the litigation.”