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Extradition Agreed for Former PEMEX Director Emilio Lozoya

By Peter Appleby | Wed, 07/01/2020 - 16:27

Emilio Lozoya is heading home. The former PEMEX director, who has been in police custody in Spain since February, is accused of having taken US$10.5 million in bribes during his leadership at the NOC and will be extradited to Mexico to face court proceedings.

Lozoya had been tracked down to Malaga in February following close cooperation between Mexican police authorities and INTERPOL. According to El País, the former director had been given refuge by an unnamed Russian business person at a private residential complex that included an 18-hole golf course among other luxury amenities.

Mexico’s Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero told media that "yesterday, Emilio Lozoya formally presented his written request to the Criminal Court of the Kingdom of Spain, accepting the extradition requested by this Office and expressing his consent to be handed over to the Mexican authorities to clarify the facts with which he has been charged," reports El Financiero.

Lozoya is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding Brazilian construction company Odebrecht the contract of a construction project for PEMEX’s Tula refinery, says El Universal.

The accusations are part of an ongoing global corruption investigation against the construction giant. Three former Brazilian presidents have been imprisoned for their part in the bribery scandal and Odebrecht has already agreed to pay up to US$4.5 billion to settle the case.

The extradition of the former director, a central figure during the administration of former president Enrique Peña Nieto, is another victory for President López Obrador’s MORENA party that has promised to clean Mexico of its entrenched corruption problem. The president speaks frequently about the pervasion of corruption in previous administrations and has leveled the accusation against private companies involved in Mexico’s energy sector.

According to Bloomberg, the president has said he will file complaints against some energy companies “that he said committed fraud in obtaining electricity contracts in the country.” He believes that previous administrations including the Peña Nieto government, which brought the Energy Reform into law, handed out contracts to companies in a fraudulent manner. The president did not name any specific individuals accused of fraud.

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Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst