money laundering in mexico

The ANTI-MONEY Laundering Law in Mexico

by Daniel Ruiz de la Peña Sandoval, Attorney at Law

The Anti-Money Laundering Law in Mexico is Mexico’s compliance with the United Nations Mandate, a global attempt to fight against Money-Laundering, the hiding of the proceeds from crime and the financing of terrorism.  It was first established in 1997 in response to the mandate given to UNODC through the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.  Mexico, along with more than 58 countries in the world have signed this Mandate. 

In Mexico, the Anti-Money Laundering Law was published on October, 2012, and it established several regulations regarding filing information for some transactions and submitting notifications on transactions considered dangerous acts by the law, as well as the fines and criminal punishment for not reporting these transactions. It was first enforced in late 2013, but it now governs all transactions deemed vulnerable to money laundering.

The aforementioned law establishes that, depending on the amount, the individual or corporation which performs any of the following transactions shall have to file or submit a notice to the government:
I.- Gambling acts.
II.- Issue and sale of credit and debit cards or any other money management operations.
III.- Issue of traveling checks.
IV.- Regular offer of loan services.
V.- Provision of construction services.
VI.- Sale of precious metals.
VII.- Regular or professional provision of auction services.
VIII.- Sale and distribution of new or used cars, boats or airplanes.
IX.- Regular or professional provision of armor plate services.
X.- Regular or professional provision of money transfer (move) services.
XI.- Provision of professional independent services like broker operations, funding administration, bank account management, capital stock corporations advise and other Notary Public acts.
XII.- Donations to nonprofit organizations.
XIII.- Provision of customs services.
XV.- Leasing  real estate.

The above law also restricts the cash payment of the following activities and amounts:

I.- Sale of real estate for 35,000 dollars or more ($519,000 pesos is the overriding amount).
II.- Sale of vehicle, boats, and airplanes for 14,000 dollars or more.
III.- Gambling operations for 14,000 dollars or more.
IV.- Armor plate services for 14,000 dollars or more.
V.- Sale of stocks for 14,000 dollars or more
VI.- Lease of vehicles, boats, airplanes and armor plating for 14,000 dollars or more.

The Notary Public is required to identify the payment, request information and send the notice to the government, This is the reason why some real estate and other operations have been delayed.

The fines established by law range from 16,000 to 45,000 dollars, in addition to criminal punishment from 2 to 10 years of prison.

In addition to the Notario, the Escrow Company and the Real Estate Companies (both listing and selling sides) must report the same transaction.

When you purchase or sell a property in Mexico, it is a requirement to submit your personal information to these sources so that they can submit the required report. Should you refuse, the sale can be cancelled.
By Lic. Daniel Ruiz de la Peña Sandoval of Ruiz de la Peña y Asociados, S.C.. Cont Lic. Ruiz at or call him at +52  (664) 6 84 02 87. Website: