Mexico probes if actress got money from Chapo

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Mexico City (AFP)

Mexican authorities are investigating whether actress Kate del Castillo received illegal funds from drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman for her tequila business, the attorney general said in an interview published Tuesday.

But Attorney General Arely Gomez told El Universal newspaper that US actor Sean Penn is not being investigated over his October meeting with Guzman, which Del Castillo arranged.

Gomez said "there are signs" that Guzman invested in the US-Mexican actress's company, which makes the tequila brand "Honor Del Castillo." Such a financial transaction, if proven, would constitute money laundering, she said.

Prosecutors have called Del Castillo, a 43-year-old US-Mexican TV star, to testify as a witness over her links to Guzman, 58.

The actress has come under scrutiny since it was revealed that she exchanged affectionate text messages with Guzman and brokered the meeting between Penn and the Sinaloa drug cartel leader.

As for Penn, Gomez said, "he is not being investigated for anything."

Guzman was recaptured on January 8 in Los Mochis, a seaside city in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa, six months after his brazen tunnel escape from a maximum-security prison.