Mexico freezes suspicious university funds received via Switzerland

According to the Mexican Treasury, the University of Hidalgo received the money via Switzerland from accounts in 22 countries. Keystone

Mexico’s treasury has frozen $156 million (CHF156 million) of a large public university’s funds while it investigates suspected money laundering. The university received the money via Switzerland from accounts in 22 countries, according to the government agency.

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On Friday, the chairman of the financial intelligence service of the Mexican treasury, Santiago Nieto, announced an investigation into funds received by the University of Hidalgo after Mexico’s financial system alerted authorities of “unusual” movements.

According to the financial intelligence service, in addition to Switzerland, the remittances came from Spain, Great Britain and other countries.

The director of the university, Adolfo Pontigo Loyola, stated in a statement on Friday that the university had not yet been contacted in the case. "We have neither money that does not belong to the university, nor in the name of the university, nor have we received money from any other country". He stated that he would cooperate with the investigation.

Nieto declined to offer more details on the open investigation. He says the funds would remain frozen until the situation was investigated.

The Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo is located in east-central Mexico and is one of the oldest and largest research universities in the country.

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