Former Mossad spies exposed bribery at Pemex

Former Mossad agents working for Black Cube met with former Pemex officials in Mexico City, London, and New York

Former Mossad spies exposed bribery scheme at Pemex
Black Cube is formed by 120 former Israeli spies and has offices in Tel Aviv, London, and Madrid- Photo: Yuriko Nakao/REUTERS
English 20/10/2019 12:59 Íñigo Arredondo Mexico City Actualizada 13:11
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Spies from private intelligence firm Black Cube held 11 meetings with five former Pemex officials in three different countries: Mexico, the U.S., and England. The meetings took place between September and November 2017, with the aim of exposing a bribery scheme inside Pemex.

During meetings, the spies uncovered a “generalized corruption culture, where high-ranking officials received payments in exchange for contracts or preferential deals,” according to Black Cube documents EL UNIVERSAL had access to.

The former Mossad agents working for Black Cube met with former Pemex officials 7 times in public places in Mexico City, two times in London, and two more times in New York. Each conversation was recorded, without a pause and using several devices, to make sure there were no mistakes.

Read more about the Israeli spies operating in Mexico.

Black Cube was hired by Mexican company Oro Negro in 2017, in order to prove that Pemex had discriminated against the company and that it received bribes in exchange for granting favorable contracts to certain companies.

Oro Negro was granted contracts to manage five oil rigs between 2013 and 2015, in 2016 Pemex saw a decrease in its revenue through the sale of crude oil and Oro Negro incurred in payment default. According to Black Cube documents, in 2017 Pemex unilaterally ended the contracts.

On October 7, Avi Yanus, the director at Black Cube, told an international tribunal that the agency's employees carried out investigations to find possible corruption acts at Pemex, including public records, social media profiles, information analyzed through the deep web, and digital mapping. The agents also met with five former high-ranking Pemex officials, who according to Oro Negro, were familiarized with the case.

In the documents EL UNIVERSAL had access to, the officials who discussed the bribery scheme at Pemex include Luis Sergio Guaso Montoya, José Carlos Pacheco, Gustavo Escobar Carré, Arturo Francisco Henríquez Autrey, and Mario Alberto Beauregard Álvarez.

The tapes recorded by Black Cube agents, who posed as business leaders from the United Arab Emirates who wanted to do business in the Mexican oil industry, were released by The Wall Street Journal and Univisión Investiga on October 11, and by Carlos Loret de Mola through EL UNIVERSAL.

The recordings document the alleged corruption acts, such as the payment of up to USD $100,000 to meet with Emilio Lozoya, the former Pemex chief, as well as the tariffs set by other officials to grant a contract, the bribes to allegedly fund Peña Nieto's 2012 presidential campaign, and USD $5 million bribes to reach agreements.

In the tapes, these former high-ranking officials discussed how 10 former Pemex officials and executives has received bribes to favor certain companies with contracts or preferential treatment.

Those mentioned in the tapes are Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Emilio Lozoya Austin, Froylán Gracia García, Rafael García Córdova, Jorge Kim Villatoro, Alfonso Guati Rojo Sánchez, Miguel Ángel Servín, Juan Javier Hinojosa Puebla, Miguel Ángel Lugo Valdez, and Ricardo Villegas Vázquez.

Read more about Emilio Lozoya, the former Pemex chief who is on the run.

In regards to this case, sources close to the investigation say that “bribery reached all levels at Pemex, even the executive director but there is no evidence that it had reached the federal government,” and that “the link between Enrique Peña Nieto's campaign and the bribes was taken out of context, it was an official appointed by the previous government.”

In September 2019, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that Black Cube operated in Mexico and that it managed USD $50 million for intelligence operations services. Black Cube has hired over 120 former Mossad agents and has offices in Tel Aviv, London, and Madrid.


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