San Pedro, Belize — A former government employee under the Borge administration has been detained in Belize while authorities work on his extradition back to Mexico.
The Ministerio Público de la Federación notified la Fiscalía Especializada in Combate of Corrupción in the state of Quintana Roo about the detention of Gonzalo Herrera Castilla, former head of the now defunct Secretariat of Public Management.
Herrera Castilla was taken into custody by elements of the Asuntos Policiales Internacionales (INTERPOL) after they found he had an outstanding arrest warrant. He was arrested in Belizean territory along with a second person when traveling by sea. Reports say the boat in which they were traveling was unregistered and found carrying large amounts of cash.
In a statement, La Fiscalía General del Estado says that paperwork for his extradition back to Mexico has already begun and that they are expecting his return within the next several hours where he will face the judicial order against him consisting of an arrest warrant.
In a letter, police in San Pedro report “On February 16, 2019, the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) took into custody funds believed to be owned by Castilla, specifically $14,280 US dollars, 1,078 Belizean dollars and 86 Guatemalan quetzales from the San Pedro Town Police Station in the criminal complaint.”
Since the arrest, the FIU has frozen his funds saying they have reason to suspect that the money is the result of illicit activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing “in accordance with the money laundering and terrorism prevention law section 38 (1) (a).”
Herrera Castilla was place under the supervision of Kent Clare, director of the FIU. Local Belize media say that Herrera Castilla had been living on the island for over two years. He was initially arrested for illegal entry and suspected money laundering.
As Belize police investigated, they learned that Herrera Castilla was wanted by Mexican authorities for the offense of Illicit use of power. Herrera Castilla served as an official under ex-governor Roberto Borge Angulo from 2012-2016.