Mexican officials are scrambling to find former governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte de Ochoa. It is being reported that the former politician who has been accused of criminal charges is missing.
According to FOX News Latino, Duarte de Ochoa stepped down from his position last week to respond to corruption allegations. Since his departure, Mexican law enforcement has been unable to track him down.
The federal Attorney General’s Office is currently putting together a request for an Interpol Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, for the arrest of the ex-governor. Duarte de Ochoa has been under investigation since September for illicit enrichment, embezzlement and breach of duty.
The site reports that Mexico’s supreme audit institution, the ASF, has reported that Veracruz, a state with a public debt of 52 billion pesos (approximately $2.75 billion), has still-unjustified disbursements of funds amounting to 35.4 billion pesos ( approximately $1.88 billion) for the 2011-2013 period.
At least 645.7 million pesos ($34 million) disappeared from the Veracruz state cofferss between 2011 and 2013 alone as a result of those transactions, according to an investigation by Animal Politico.
“We’re following several leads to locate him,” said Miguel Angel Osorio, Mexico’s government secretary.
Osorio has denied that an agreement had been reached with Duarte de Ochoa to ensure his safe passage out of the country.
“We believe Duarte is in the country,” Osorio said, adding that there is no information indicating the politician from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, legally exited Mexico.
The federal Attorney General’s Office says that Xalapa, Vercaruz’s capital, was the last place Duarte de Ochoa had been seen and that intelligence agencies were working to locate him.
The federal AG’s office, which on Sept. 19 took over an investigation launched by state prosecutors, on Tuesday announced the arrest of two women for alleged links to “phantom companies” that were awarded contracts by Duarte’s government and are suspected of money laundering.
Duarte de Ochoa stepped down as governor last Wednesday, just 48 days before the end of his term, to face corruption charges, which he has called slanderous lies.