Emilio Lozoya has been arrested in Spain
Emilio Lozoya, the former Pemex chief, is accused of taking bribes from important companies - Photo/Tomas Bravo/REUTERS

Emilio Lozoya has been arrested in Spain

12/02/2020
09:57
EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales
Mexico City
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A few minutes ago, Mexico's Attorney General confirmed the former government official has been arrested in Spain

Emilio Lozoya, the former Pemex chief during Enrique Peña Nieto's presidency, has been arrested in Malaga by Spanish authorities. 

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The arrested was confirmed minutes ago by Alejandro Gertz Manero, Mexico's Attorney General, during an interview.

Recommended: Arrest warrants issued for Emilio Lozoya and family in Mexico

During the interview, Gertz Manero said Mexico will start the legal procedure to extradite the former Pemex chief back to Mexico so he faces several charges

The Attorney General's Office took to Twitter to confirm the arrest but did not provide more details. 

Emilio Lozoya was close to former President Peña Nieto, led Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex and has been accused of engaging in corrupt acts with companies such as Odebrecht.

Recommended: Former Pemex director is accused of money laundering, fraud, and bribery

Spain’s National Police revealed officials identified Lozoya Austin thanks to his driver’s license and later released a video that shows Lozoya in handcuffs, while two officers take him inside a government building. 

Lozoya will appear before a judge tomorrow, who will decide if the former Pemex director is released while he awaits his extradition trial or if he will remain in prison.

After Gertz Manero confirmed Lozoya had been arrested, Santiago Nieto, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), said the intelligence unit is currently investigating Emilio Lozoya for the public treasury’s loss of MXN $50 million. Nieto added that the UIF has filed four lawsuits against Lozoya for the Odebrecht and Agronitrogenados cases; additionally, he confirmed arrest warrants had been issued against the former government official for his involvement in these corruption cases, as well as for fraud.

The government official said that Lozoya’s case is important to advance “in this policy (implemented) by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador” in regards to zero tolerance to corruption and impunity.

Nieto added that there are two more accusations against Lozoya that have yet to be brought before a judge, including a shipyard in Spain, “where there are losses for MXN $50 million.” The anti-corruption czar mentioned that fraud in Pemex, under Lozoya, is quite similar to the scheme used in the so-called Master Fraud, allegedly orchestrated by Rosario Robles.

In May 2019, it was revelated that Lozoya was being accused of money laundering, fraud, and bribery. He's also involved in the purchase of a useless fertilizer plant that cost the government millions. 

Who is Emilio Lozoya?

Emilio Lozoya Austin was very close to former President Enrique Peña Nieto. Peña Nieto appointed Lozoya as Pemex's executive director on December 4, 2012, and until February 8, 2016, when he was replaced by José Antonio González Anaya.

Emilio Lozoya has been linked to the Odebrecht case, as he allegedly received a USD $10.5 million bribe from the Brazilian company. For this, there are two ongoing investigations against him at the Attorney General's Office and the FEPADE.

In April 2016, Lozoya was linked to another scandal, the Panama Papers. He was linked to a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca. Lozano allegedly reached out to the law firm in order to create an offshore company in Dubai.

Previously, in 2015, he was involved in a corruption case linked to OHL, a construction company where he worked before being appointed as Pemex's executive director.

According to leaked phone calls, Lozoya met with Juan Miguel Villar Mir, the OHL director, to discuss the participation of OHL in Pemex's tenders.

After leaving Pemex, Lozoya founded and directs Makech Capital, an investment funds company, and hired Edgar Torres Garrido, the friend he appointed as the director of Pemex Fertilizers. Now, Edgar Torres has been banned from holding public office for 15 years and was fined MXN $620 million for diverting resources at the state-owned oil company.

In 2019, the Mexican government blacklisted Lozoya, which meant he would not be allowed to work in the government for a number of his, as a result of his involvement in the purchase of Fertinal, a fertilizer plant. The Superior Audit Office, along with two other consultancy firms warned that Fertinal was bankrupt.

Lozoya is accused of money laundering in the case of the purchase of the useless fertilizer plant Agronitrogenados.

Involved in the same case is Alonso Ancira Elizondo, owner of AHMSA, who was arrested in Spain and who is was released on bail after paying EU € 1 million.

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