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First extradition from the United Kingdom to Mexico as a result of international collaboration

|News, International and organised crime

A suspected fraudster could be the first person extradited to Mexico from the UK after a court ruling thanks to the collaborative work between the two countries’ legal teams.

Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring today (17 February 2022) sent the case of Karime Macias Tubilla to the Secretary of State to consider extradition to Mexico. This is the first case involving Mexico that has been sent to the Home Secretary.

Ms Macias Tubilla is wanted by the Mexican government on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, where her husband Javier Duarte governed between 2010 – 2016. The Mexican authorities want her to stand trial for an alleged £4 million fraud against the Integrated Family Development System (the DIF). 

The DIF was responsible for providing humanitarian aid to the poorest and most vulnerable members of the Veracruz community. The fraud occurred when Ms Macias Tubilla was the Chair of DIF during 2011 and 2012. She assumed that honorary position on 1 December 2010 as the wife of Javier Duarte de Ochoa, the then Constitutional Governor of the State of Veracruz.

She was arrested in London in 2019 after handing herself over to police after a judge in Veracruz issued a warrant for her arrest and a domestic arrest warrant was issued in the UK under the Extradition Act.

Her case will now be sent to the Home Secretary Priti Patel to make a decision on whether or not to extradite her to Mexico to stand trial. The court has accepted that the evidence provided by Mexico is sufficient to make a case to answer.

Furthermore, the court found that if Ms Macias Tubillia is extradited, her human rights will be protected.

The CPS Extradition Unit represents foreign authorities that are seeking the return of a requested person. The unit provides advice to foreign authorities on the validity of the request and then act on their behalf in court proceedings.

The CPS has worked on behalf of the Government of Mexico and represented them in court in the case of Ms Macias Tubilla. The prosecutors have liaised with Mexican officials in the first case of its kind.

Paula Craven, Specialist Prosecutor said: “We welcome the decision of the Senior District Judge which comes after a fully contested extradition hearing in November 2021 and concluded in January 2022.

“The case has taken over two years to conclude since Karime Macias Tubilla’s arrest on 29 October 2019. This is the first extradition request from the United Mexican States and we are pleased to have been able to assist our international partners and thank all of those involved for their hard work. 

“The next steps will be for the Secretary of State to consider ordering extradition. We cannot make any further comment at this time”.

This case is an example of the excellent international collaboration between foreign authorities to ensure that justice is served and Ms Macias Tubilla can now face trial in Mexico for alleged fraud.

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