Tomas Yarrington, the former fugutive governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, who is sought by authorities in the U.S. and Mexico was arrested by Interpol in Italy on Sunday.
Yarrington, who served as governor of the border state from 1999 to 2005 is wanted back in his homeland for drug smuggling, bank fraud, racketeering, and money laundering charges
Italian authorities announced Yarrington, a former member of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), would be extradited back to Mexico in the next few days.
The PRI said in a statement it fully backed the attorney general’s office work and had requested all the necessary investigations to be carried out, according to the BBC News.
In 2013, a federal grand jury in Texas also returned an indictment charging Tomas Yarrington with money laundering.
The indictment accuses Yarrington of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas in return for allowing the criminal groups “to operate their criminal enterprises freely, which included the smuggling of multi-ton quantities of illegal narcotics to the U.S. for distribution”.
In a statement released Sunday, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said Yarrington’s apprehension was the result of an Interpol red notice “for organized crime, money laundering, and other offenses.”
U.S. authorities allege Yarrington first began taking bribes from drug traffickers, in 1998 while he served as mayor of the border city of Matamoros.
Yarrington is the latest political figure in Pena Nieto’s PRI party embroiled in a criminal corruption case.
Javier Duarte, the former Veracruz governor who is wanted in Mexico on corruption charges, has remained a fugitive since October.
Former Chihuahua state governor Cesar Duarte, also a member of Pena Nieto’s ruling party, has been missing since March when a federal judge issued a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement.
Last week U.S. Border Patrol agents in San Diego also detained the Nayarit Attorney General for a drug trafficking indictment filed in Brooklyn’s Eastern District Court.
State prosecutor Edgar Veytia pleaded not guilty on Saturday to federal drug trafficking charges in Brooklyn Federal Court.
In 2016, Spanish authorities charged Humberto Moreira, the former PRI governor of Coahuila with money laundering in connection with accepting bribes from senior figures within the Los Zetas criminal organization.