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The Prosecutor's Office flies first and pays later

Disarray and bad practices in the State's institutions often cause many of the seized assets during judicial operations to not only be reinstated to their owners, but -to top it all- they have to be compensated by the treasury. The emblematic case of a light aircraft the Attorney General's Office took for its use, that was later scrapped as junk and in the end caused millions of costs to the State, proves that the confiscations, even if scarce, sometimes even become a lousy business for taxpayers.

8/8/2017 3:02:44 PM

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Part two | For not returning a secured aircraft in 2000, the Attorney General's Office and the Property Administration and Disposal Service (SAE) must compensate the company Aeronautical Services and Repairs with 15 million dollars. The case reveals how the deficiencies of the Public Prosecutor's Office in the fight against drug trafficking becomes a boomerang for the Mexican State.

In July 2000, it was ordered the seizure of the Sabreliner aircraft and the detention of two pilots, who allegedly carried 67 packets of cocaine. However, two years later they were absolved because police agents altered the physical state of the aircraft, according to a 2002 ruling issued by a criminal judge in the state of Mexico (center of the country). This prevented it from serving as evidence during the process.

Thus, the Attorney General's Office was obliged to return the plane. However, it was used until 2006 and then delivered it to the SAE, public entity that sold it as scrap for $3,895.