CANCUN, Mexico – Criminal organizations used the safe deposit boxes seized in a raid on First National Security in the Mexican Caribbean resort city of Cancun, federal prosecutors said.
“These discoveries confirm for us that organized crime used these boxes to deposit the proceeds from crime and as a place to store information to commit more crimes,” said Alberto Elias Beltran, a federal prosecutor in charge of judicial and international affairs at the Attorney General’s Office.
The AG’s SEIDO organized crime unit has been conducting an investigation for several months in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, targeting organized crime groups, Beltran said.
The seizures at First National Security gave investigators “a pretty clear idea of the use made by organized crime of safe deposit boxes,” Beltran said.
First National Security customers staged protests after 1,500 safe deposit boxes were seized on Oct. 9, demanding information about the legal status of their property from the AG’s office.
On Oct. 30, federal prosecutors finally released a statement saying that a judge had issued a search warrant for First National Security.
Prosecutors have returned the contents of safe deposit boxes to 292 First National Security customers so far, Beltran said.
First National Security customers have filed hundreds of complaints with state and national human rights agencies over the seizure of their property.
On Nov. 2, First National Security customers staged a protest in Cancun.
Protest organizers said the seizures at the safe deposit company had affected citizens of at least 20 countries.