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Ex-CEO of Mexican state oil firm arrested in Spain on corruption charges

Published : 13 Feb 2020, 12:46

  DF-Xinhua Report

Ex-CEO of Mexican Photo Xinhua

The fugitive ex-CEO of Mexican state oil company Pemex was arrested in Spain on corruption charges, Mexico's Attorney General's Office (FGR) confirmed on Wednesday.

The FGR "confirms Spanish authorities arrested Emilio 'L' in that country," the agency said via Twitter.

Emilio Lozoya, who ran Pemex from 2012 to 2016, fled Mexico in mid-2019, after federal judges ordered his arrest, initially for embezzling public funds and later for having accepted bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Lozoya was arrested in the southern Spanish city of Malaga on an arrest warrant issued by Mexico.

"We have to make it very clear: he was arrested to be extradited," Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero said in an interview with local media.

The search for Lozoya began in Germany and continued through several European countries before concluding in Spain, said Gertz.

He is accused of accepting some 10.5 million U.S. dollars in bribes from Odebrecht in exchange for Pemex contracts.

In plea deals with prosecutors in the United States, Odebrecht's top executives have admitted to running a multinational bribery scheme to secure lucrative government contracts.

Authorities said Lozoya's family members helped him hide the money trail. His mother Gilda Austin was arrested in Germany and charged in Mexico with depositing illicit funds in her bank accounts.