Money laundering probe targets Mexican actress in 'El Chapo' case

Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:31am EST
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has opened a money laundering investigation into the actress who helped Hollywood star Sean Penn conduct an interview with drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a senior official said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Attorney General Arely Gomez said in the interview published by daily newspaper El Universal "there are indications" that actress Kate del Castillo may have used money from Guzman to help finance her tequila business.

The longtime head of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman was caught on Jan. 8 in the northwestern city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, six months after his brazen escape from prison through a mile-long tunnel that led directly into his cell.

Rolling Stone magazine published an article the following day by Penn, based on a secret meeting with Guzman and attended by del Castillo while the drug lord was on the run.

Last week, a government spokesman said Mexico is not directly investigating del Castillo or fellow actor Penn for meeting with Guzman, but it would look into the circumstances of their meeting.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

An artisan checks a photo of Mexican actress Kate del Castillo on his mobile phone, to make a pinata depicting her, at his workshop in Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico, January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril