Fugitive Mexico Oil Boss Busted In Spain For Bribery

Story ByMaja Mishevksa, Sub EditorMarija StojkoskaAgencyNewsflash

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The fugitive former boss of a Mexican state oil company accused of accepting millions in bribes has been arrested in Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Emilio Lozoya, 45, the former director of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) until 2016, has been wanted by the Mexican authorities, who issued an international arrest warrant in 2019, on allegations of corruption.

He has reportedly been living as a fugitive until his arrest in a taxi in the city of Malaga in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

Reports said he had been living in a luxury property on Costa del Sol and he has since been taken to a police station in Malaga before appearing before a judge soon.

According to local media, Judge Ismael Moreno will decide whether he will be extradited to Mexico.

Lozoya is linked to allegations of corruption which took place between 2012 and 2013 when he was the general director of Pemex.

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I can outcoming here I amMexican prosecutors believe he was involved in fraudulent activities totalling around 280 million USD (216 million GBP) in that two-year period.

He is also accused of accepting bribes from Brazilian company Odebrecht regarding the purchase of two fertiliser plants.

In 2014, Pemex bought the companies Agronitrogenados and Fertinal for around 442 million USD (340 million GBP) even though they had been out of action for 14 years and 60 percent of their machinery was in poor condition, according to local media.

The costly acquisitions reportedly caused Pemex to suffer huge losses.

The Mexican authorities believe Lozoya bought a luxury home in Mexico City in 2012 after allegedly accepting bribes from Odebrecht.

Lozoya’s lawyer Javier Coello said he will travel to Spain to help his client, adding: “We have all the evidence we need to defend him.”

An international arrest warrant was issued last year and he was disqualified from holding public office for a period of 10 years, according to reports.

Meanwhile, the authorities also blocked his bank accounts.

The investigation continues.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.