Exposed: Elite Financial Institutions and Corrupt Officials Using Hermes to Hide Resources from Organized Crime Groups

Head of UIF Uses Hermes Tool to Unfreeze Drug Accounts

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The use of a computer system called Hermes has been confirmed as a tool for removing names of individuals and companies of interest from the national financial system. This revelation comes from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Corruption (FEMCC), which obtained data from various sources including the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), and specialized units of the FEMDO. The confirmation indicates that Hermes facilitated the removal of hundreds of names and allowed for the release of 975 bank accounts used by drug traffickers and front companies.

During a recent hearing, it was revealed that Financiera Planfía, a popular financial company under special surveillance by CNBV, was one of the credit institutions involved in mobilizing and hiding resources from organized crime groups. The company’s authorization to operate was revoked in 2022. The hearing also brought charges against former head of UIF Orlando Suárez López and former director Mauricio Moreno Balbuena, who allegedly issued letters to release accounts without legal compliance and created a concealment mechanism for monitoring resources from illicit activities.

The FEMCC indicated that Hermes was used between FIU and CNBV to make movements on the list of blocked people and unfreeze insured accounts in various financial institutions. Expert reports showed that the accused issued letters to release accounts without legal compliance, creating a mechanism for concealing resources from illicit activities. Additionally, Suárez López and Moreno Balbuena generated an official letter ordering 12 more names to be removed from the list of blocked people, further fueling the concealment mechanism for illicit activities.

The investigation into this matter was initiated in June 2019 by then-head Santiago Nieto Castillo, who informed the defendants about it. These actions were carried out without proper legal procedures or regulations.

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