Mexico issues arrest warrant for ex-Pemex CEO in anti-graft push
Mexico issued an arrest warrant for a former chief of Mexican oil company Pemex, government-owned media said on Tuesday, in the first blow against ex-President Enrique Pena Nieto’s inner circle since a new government took office promising to clean up politics, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Citing sources at the attorney general’s office, Mexico news agency Notimex said a judge had ordered the arrest of Emilio Lozoya, who headed Pemex from 2012 to 2016.
A Mexican security source said the reports were accurate. The attorney general’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Lozoya’s lawyer Javier Coello said he had not received any official notification of an arrest warrant.
Coello said that after seeing various media reports on the subject he filed an injunction on behalf of Lozoya to get to the bottom of the matter, and requested to be officially notified of whether the warrant exists.
“Once the defense verifies if there is actually an arrest warrant, and it knows the contents of the warrant, it will be able to take a legal position to execute an adequate defense,” Coello said in a statement.
Coello said in a radio interview that Lozoya was in Mexico, denying some reports that he had left the country.
In a move related to the case, Spanish police detained steel magnate Alonso Ancira on Tuesday, his company Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) said in a statement. The company sold a fertilizer plant to Pemex while Lozoya was at the helm.
The investigation of Lozoya, who ran Pena Nieto’s 2012 election campaign, is the first high-profile corruption investigation launched by the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador against the government he replaced on Dec. 1. Lopez Obrador won election by a landslide promising to root out public sector corruption.
On Monday, the Finance Ministry said it had blocked accounts belonging to Lozoya and to AHMSA for allegedly carrying out illegal operations.
The ministry’s money-laundering czar Santiago Nieto said the case also had links to Brazilian builder Odebrecht, whose executives have testified about bribes to politicians across Latin America.