Following the arrest warrant issued in Mexico last month for Interjet (AIJ, Toluca) co-founder Miguel Alemán Magnani, Interpol has now issued an international arrest warrant for him at Mexico's request, local media reported citing government sources.

Mexico’s attorney-general (Procuraduría General de la República - PGR) had ordered the arrest of the former president of the grounded low-cost carrier due to alleged tax fraud conducted via the company for MXN66.285 million pesos (USD3.32 million), according to broadcaster Milenio Televisión.

Aleman is the grandson of Miguel Alemán, president of Mexico from 1946 to 1952, and the son of a former governor of the state of Veracruz, Miguel Alemán Velasco, who is also an Interjet shareholder. Currently, the Alemán family owns less than 10% of Interjet’s shares since investor Alejandro del Valle acquired a 90.4% stake in December 2020.

Mexican prosecutors requested the international red alert for Aleman, Milenio reported, a request government sources later confirmed to the newspaper El Financiero and Reuters. However, as of the morning of August 18, he was not listed as a wanted person on Interpol’s website.

A lawyer for Aleman, Javier Mondragón, later told Milenio that his client had been living in Paris since early January. The PGR should go after del Valle for the non-payment of taxes. He claimed that the sale of 90.4% of ABC Aerolineas SA de CV, dba Interjet, had been agreed at a meeting in June 2020 in which del Valle promised to make a disbursement of MXN4.3 billion (USD215 million) to settle debts with Mexico’s tax authority (Servicio de Administración Tributaria - SAT) but “to this day they have failed to comply with this aspect.”

According to Mondragón, Alemán Magnani also has a European passport since his mother, Christiane Magnani Martel, who won Miss Universe in 1953, is French by birth.

According to Reuters, this is one of the first times Mexican authorities have targetted a prominent business leader under a new law treating tax fraud as a serious crime. Interjet has said it has debts over USD1.25 billion, including around MXN5 billion (USD250 million) in taxes, according to El Financiero.

Interjet was not immediately available for comment.