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26 September, 2022
 
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Spain gave 'golden visa' to former Mexican president being investigated for corruption

President Enrique Peña Nieto is being investigated by Mexico’s attorney general’s office for alleged money laundering, illicit enrichment, and illegal international transfers

Source: Schengen Visa Info

The Spanish authorities have finally confirmed that the former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is being investigated by Mexico’s attorney general’s office for alleged money laundering, illicit enrichment, and illegal international transfers, is a legal resident of the country.

a witness at a US trial of Mexico’s drug cartel kingpin Joaquín Guzmán, widely known as “El Chapo”, claimed while testifying that Peña Nieto had accepted a $100m (£77m) bribe from the mobster

Answering the question of the Basque member of the Spanish congress of deputies Jon Iñarritu regarding Peña Nieto’s residency in Spain, the Parliament has confirmed that the former President “is the holder of a residence permit as an investor” in accordance with the 2013 law to support entrepreneurs and their internationalization.

These types of visas are also widely known as ‘golden visas’.

The Parliament has also clarified that the Spanish law grants foreigners an investment visa when they buy real estate in Spain that is at least €500,000 worth, aside from other requirements, SchengenVisaInfo.com report.

It also confirms that Peña Nieto has purchased a property worth €570,000 in commercial premises located in Madrid and points out that it is unaware whether the former President owns any other assets in the country, as he is not required to report them.

Peña Nieto served as the 64th president of Mexico from December 1, 2012, to November 30, 2018. In August this year, prosecutors in Mexico opened a corruption investigation against Peña Nieto, after the ex-head of the state energy firm, Emilio Lozoya, accused Peña Nieto of taking millions of dollars in bribes and bribing MPs during the time he was a President.

According to Lozoya, Peña Nieto and former Minister of Finance Luis Videgaray had ordered him to allocate more than $4m in bribes from Odebrecht – one of the largest corruption cases documented – into the 2012 presidential election campaign.

Last year, a witness at a US trial of Mexico’s drug cartel kingpin Joaquín Guzmán, widely known as “El Chapo”, claimed while testifying that Peña Nieto had accepted a $100m (£77m) bribe from the mobster.

El Pais reported in May this year that the former President has settled in Spain through the so-called golden visa program after purchasing a business premise with a surface area of 105 square meters and an indoor patio in a building in the posh Madrid neighborhood of Chamberí. According to the newspaper, the unit has now been renovated and is now a luxury apartment, though it remains mostly vacant.

Asked by deputy Iñarritu whether Peña Nieto has previously tried to move to Spain through other ways, the Parliament has answered that “he requested a residence authorization for cases not foreseen in the Alien Regulation which was rejected for not complying with the requirements demanded it.”

Spain’s Golden Visa investment program is famous amongst third-country nationals as it enables a foreigner to become a legal resident with an investment as low as half a million in real estate in the country. A visa of this type can also be obtained by investing at least €1,000,000 investment in shares in a company or deposit in a Spanish bank, or by investing at least €2,000,000 in the Spanish public debt.

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Cyprus  |  Spain  |  Europe

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