Mexico angered by $1.9M cash in official's bags

January 31, 2012 - 3:45 PM
Mexico Money Flight

In this Jan. 28, 2012 image released by Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) on Jan. 31, 2012, an official counts money that was seized at the Mexico state airport in Toluca, Mexico. Industry groups, political parties and analysts in Mexico are questioning the odd circumstances of $1.9 million in cash found stuffed into an official's suitcase and backpack at an airport. (AP Photo/PGR)

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) — Industry groups, political parties and analysts in Mexico are questioning the odd circumstances of $1.9 million in cash found stuffed into an official's suitcase and backpack at an airport.

Police found it in the luggage of an official who flew into the home state of leading presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto.

Veracruz state Finance Secretary Tomas Ruiz said Tuesday the money was an urgent payment for a company that promotes festivals in the state.

But an industry group says such large cash payments are very unusual.

Pena Nieto's campaign refused to comment on the cash seizure, but rival parties suggest it may have been destined for his campaign. Veracruz is governed by Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party.