Quintana Roo described as a money-laundering ‘paradise’
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Q. Roo — Since 2012 when Quintana Roo reported a margin of participation in money laundering through investment projects, this state remains one of the main places where transactions presumably made with suspicious resources are recorded. However, David Enrique Merino Téllez, general director of the National Center for Tax Studies and Research (Cenesit), said that the exact magnitude is unknown.
“The Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been able to detect operations and procedures, and there are a number of requirements for vulnerable activities that seek to ensure that all those who carry out illicit operations are obliged to report how the acts are performed,” he said.
In the FIU Receipt Report 2015, Quintana Roo ranked No. 4 in the national ranking where reports of unusual transactions (ROI’s) were received, with money laundering estimated to be 10 issues per 10 thousand inhabitants, ranking only behind Mexico City, Sinaloa and Baja California, where they reported 25, 19, and 13 ROI’s respectively.
During his participation in a training program of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI), Merino Téllez indicated that “tourist areas are highly sought after, many of the people who have laundered assets invest in places like Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen.”
‘Paradise of evasion’
In 2012, Simón Pablo Herrera Bazán, doctor in Criminal Sciences and Criminal Policy and doctor in Public Administration, not only reported that one of the economic activities that contributed resources of illicit origin to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was investment, but many of them were made in places like Quintana Roo, which he described as a “paradise of evasion.”
However, in practice, considered David Enrique Merino, it is difficult to know the magnitude of transactions to launder money.
The Mexican Caribbean “is a region where operations of this type have been detected. There is a high incidence of laundering transactions. The resources that are generated from illicit activities are invested, in Quintana Roo there have been cases but there are not many, because there is a process through which you have to prove that it is illicit money,” he said.
What is detected is the way of operating: companies are created without assets but they move in the immediacy of finance from other equally ghost companies, and in those transactions the money is diluted until the last company performs the purchase operation.
While Quintana Roo is ranked number four in ROI per capita in 2015, on the basis of net counting of the number of such reports by the FIU, the state does not appear in the top ten. In that year number 10 was occupied by Tamaulipas with 5,004, and in first place was Mexico City with 39,463.