Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ex-Pemex official detained over 27-million-peso bribe

The federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) arrested a former Pemex manager accused of having embezzled 27 million pesos (US $1.1 million at today’s exchange rate) after three fuel companies gave him the money for tankers that were never delivered.

The former deputy director of operations at Pemex Logistics, Luis Alberto Núñez Santander, promised the companies a total of 700 tankers of gasoline in exchange for a 30% advance, but allegedly never came through with his side of the deal.

The FGR said its special corruption division executed an arrest warrant for Núñez for his probable role in crimes of the misuse of his office, powers and faculties.

“Luis N. is probably responsible for procedural irregularities while employed as a public servant,” the FGR said in a press release.

Núñez began his career at Pemex in 1995 in the pipelines division. It was during his tenure as deputy director of operations that the subsidiary company Pemex Logistics was created in 2015.

The division integrates the transportation, warehousing and distribution of fuel.

President López Obrador announced in February 2019 that rooting out corruption in the company was part of his administration’s plan to rescue it from financial ruin and strengthen its capacity for exploration and production.

Since then a number of current and former Pemex employees have been investigated and/or arrested for participating in corrupt practices.

Former Pemex union leader Carlos Romero Deschamps resigned in October after corruption allegations that were made for years led to charges of money laundering and illicit enrichment.

Also in October of last year, it was announced that the oil services company Oro Negro had hired private investigators to record a conversation with two Pemex employees in which they explained how to engage in bribery at the oil company.

Oro Negro used the recording as evidence in a lawsuit against Pemex in which it claimed that Pemex drove it to bankruptcy when it refused to pay bribes.

President López Obrador claimed to have “saved Pemex” in January 2020, after production didn’t fall for the first time in 14 years, but market analysts said the debt and corruption-riddled company still has a long way to go.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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