Last October 4, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ("SCJN"), ruled on amparo en revisión 1214/2016, in which it declared the unconstitutionality of Article 115 of the Law of Credit Institutions, which empowers the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit ("SHCP") to block bank accounts of taxpayers for alleged money laundering and terrorist financing operations, prior to the development of an administrative proceeding.
The matter originated when the Financial Intelligence Unit ("UIF") of the SHCP included the complainant company in the list of blocked persons, which resulted in the freezing of all its accounts, and the prohibition to open new accounts or the cancellation of existing accounts.
Both in the amparo and in the review, the complainant argued that the blocking of the accounts without prior notification violated her right to the presumption of innocence and her right to a hearing.
In the first instance, the District Judge considered that these rights had not been violated, but in the review before the SCJN, the first instance sentence was reversed and the plaintiff company was granted an injunction against the general rule, considering it unconstitutional.
This constitutes a relevant precedent in the investigation of alleged money laundering and terrorist financing operations, as it constitutionally limits one of the most effective, but also the most discretionary, tools of the SHCP in this area.
The lawyers of the Money Laundering Prevention area of Basham, Ringe y Correa are at your disposal to answer any questions related to this matter.
|LIC. DANIEL DEL RIO
|LIC. RODOLFO BARREDA
|LIC. JULIO COPO