A Spanish court has ruled that a prominent former Mexican politician who was arrested on arrival at Madrid airport should be held in custody while officers investigate alleged corruption.

Former Institutional Revolutionary Party chief Humberto Moreira is under suspicion of "embezzling public funds, money laundering, bribery and belonging to a criminal organization," a National Court statement says.

Moreira, who was nabbed Friday, was governor of the state of Coahuila from 2005-2011 before leaving to head the PRI as it prepared for a return to national power under Enrique Pena Nieto, now Mexico's president.

Coahuila's debt rose from $27 million to $3 billion during Moreira's tenure.

The court says Moreira has three days to appeal its ruling and that the case will be heard under secrecy to avoid jeopardizing the investigation.