August 17, 2019 / 3:54 AM / 2 months ago

Argentina detains businessman at centre of Mexican corruption scandal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Argentine authorities and Interpol detained on Friday a businessman who was at the centre of a Mexican corruption scandal in 2004 that hurt the reputation of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who at the time was Mexico City’s mayor and is now the nation’s president.

The detained Argentine businessman Carlos Ahumada was filmed in 2004 giving bundles of money to Lopez Obrador’s main ally in the City Council, Rene Bejarano. Support for Lopez Obrador at the time was battered by the graft scandal.

Ahumada was detained at the request of Mexican authorities and a process to extradite him to Mexico will begin immediately, the Mexican attorney general’s office (FGR) said in a statement.

The FGR said it suspects Ahumada of committing tax fraud of around 1.47 million pesos (£61,659). In 2004, investigators wanted to question him over an alleged $3 million (£2 million) in missing public funds.

Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, has made fighting corruption a cornerstone of his administration.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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