In the run-up to their trial Dec. 3, conflicting accounts have emerged about the television vans confiscated from the “fake journalists.”
Officials at the capital’s Secretariat of Transport and Roads acknowledge that registration papers were issued for the six vehicles in Televisa’s name from 2009 to 2011 in three different Mexico City offices.
For its part, Televisa said the vehicles never belonged to its fleet and that false documents were used to obtain the registrations, including a notarized power of attorney that expired in 2005 and that apparently was stolen from the secretariat’s archives.
Each of the vans had been outfitted to carry monitors, television cameras, printers, computers and satellite uplinks, the report said, and each one had a secret compartment.
By the time Nicaraguan investigators finished counting the cash they’d removed from the compartments, the total came to $9,255,631, prosecutors said.
Four of the vans bore traces of cocaine, the report added.
The caravan of fake Televisa journalists apparently had been seen regularly across Central America over the past two years.
The prosecutors’ report cites employees of the Managua Holiday Inn saying that Televisa crews had stayed at the hotel at least five times, starting in 2010, always paying cash, refusing receipts and frequently leaving large tips.
Each of the Mexicans held an official-looking Televisa credential, and their clothing included polo shirts, dress shirts, vests, jackets and hoodies, all with the gold-and-orange Televisa logo, the report said.
Morales, the Mexican attorney general, said last week that preliminary investigations indicated that the gang was linked to Los Zetas, a powerful Mexico-based crime syndicate involved in narcotics and people smuggling, extortion, kidnapping and counterfeit goods.
News reports say prosecutors under Morales have questioned at least four employees of the vehicle registration division for possible links to Los Zetas.