Mexico freezes university funds, talks of money laundering

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The financial intelligence unit of Mexico's treasury has frozen $156 million of the state Autonomous University of Hidalgo's funds while it investigates suspected money laundering, Treasury Secretary Santiago Nieto said Friday.

The university received the money through Switzerland from accounts in 22 countries, according to the agency. Mexico's financial system alerted authorities to the "unusual" movements and an investigation was launched.

On Friday, university rector Adolfo Pontigo Loyola said in a statement that the university had not been contacted by any authorities about the transfers in question. If and when they are, he said the university would cooperate with the investigation.

"We don't have any money that isn't the university's, in the university's name, nor have we received money from any country," Pontigo Loyola said.

Earlier in the week, the financial intelligence unit had said in a statement that it was investigating a state university, but did not say which one. It said the transfers came from countries including Switzerland, Spain and Great Britain among others.

Nieto declined to offer more details on the open investigation. He said the funds would remain frozen until the situation was investigated.