Friday, December 1, 2023

Government sanctions former Pemex boss for providing false information

The federal government has sanctioned former Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya for providing “false information” about his assets.

The Secretariat of Public Administration (SFP) announced yesterday that two unnamed state oil company executives had been prohibited from holding public office for periods of 10 and 15 years respectively.

Lozoya’s lawyer, Javier Coello, told the newspaper El Financiero that his client received the 10-year punishment.

“Today [Wednesday] he was notified; the issue was that he did not declare that his mother opened an investment account,” Coello said.

Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) chief Santiago Nieto posted on Twitter last night to congratulate Public Administration Secretary Irma Sandoval for the ruling, which disqualifies Lozoya from exercising any public role for 10 years.

He described it as “a fundamental step in the fight against corruption and impunity.”

The SFP said in a statement that Lozoya had provided “false information” when asked to provide details about his assets.

“On two occasions, he omitted [to disclose] a bank account that included balances of hundreds of thousands of pesos,” it said.

Coello said that he will challenge the SFP ruling in the federal tax court.

Lozoya headed the state oil company between 2012 and 2016 during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto and was reportedly close to the former president.

The SFP sanction could be just the beginning of trouble for the former Pemex CEO.

Lozoya has also been accused of receiving US $10 million in bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht – which has been implicated in corruption scandals in several Latin American countries – but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero said earlier this month that a new probe will be launched into Odebrecht within 60 days.

The SFP said that a second unidentified Pemex executive was sanctioned due to “irregularities in the purchase” of a fertilizer plant owned by Fertinal.

“After a meticulous investigation, it was proven that the official responsible misused public resources by paying excessive costs of close to 620 million pesos [US $32.6 million],” the secretariat said.

In addition to receiving a 15-year ban on holding public office, the executive was issued a fine “equivalent to the damage caused.”

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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