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Head of UIF Uses Hermes Tool to Unfreeze Drug Accounts


Feb 10, 2024

After three years of research and data comparison, evidence has emerged confirming the use of a computer system called Hermes. This system facilitated the removal of hundreds of names from natural and legal persons of interest for the national financial system and released 975 bank accounts that were used by drug traffickers and front companies. This confirmation came from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Corruption (FEMCC), based on data exchange and expert reports from the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), and specialized units of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime (FEMDO).

In a recent hearing, it was revealed that the credit institutions used to mobilize and hide resources of illicit origin from organized crime groups included Financiera Planfía, a financial company popular (Sofipo), which was under special surveillance by the CNBV and had its authorization to operate revoked in 2022. This information was brought forward during the hearing in which charges were brought against the former head of the UIF Orlando Suárez López and the former director of the Regulatory Process of the same institution, Mauricio Moreno Balbuena.

The FEMCC indicated that the technological platform called Hermes was supposedly used between the FIU and the CNBV to make movements on the list of blocked people and unfreeze insured accounts in various financial institutions. Expert reports showed that the accused issued letters to release accounts without legal compliance, and a concealment mechanism was created for monitoring resources from illicit activity.

Additionally, the defendants Suárez López and Moreno Balbuena generated an official letter by which another 12 names were ordered to be removed from the list of blocked people, further fueling the concealment mechanism for illicit activities. The investigation into this matter was initiated in June 2019 by the then head of the UIF, Santiago Nieto Castillo, who informed the defendants. These actions were carried out without proper legal procedures and regulations.

By Editor

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