The destination of about 20 billion pesos that were part of the budget that Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and its subsidiaries received from 2013 to 2016, during the management of Emilio Lozoya Austin as GENERAL manager of that state company, remains unclear to date.
These are resources that were not exercised or returned, or that were allegedly used in irregular programs, actions or services from which there is no evidence to prove that they were actually carried out and therefore should have been reinstated.
This is revealed by updated data from the Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF), an institution that through its alist legal arm files various criminal complaints for this fact, after considering that three years after the mismanagement of the mismanagement of these remains unclear.
Read: These are the cases, crimes and million-dollar bribes that Emilio Lozoya is accused of
It would be a second package of complaints that the ASF promotes against the management of Lozoya in Pemex before the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic, after it reported in July last the irregularities specifically related to the acquisition of fertilizer plants in disrepair.
According to the information of the ASF, the precise amount of public resources outstanding during the management of Lozoya at the helm of Pemex amounts to 19 thousand 548 million pesos, of which more than 17 billion correspond to the subsidiary of PEMEX Exploration and Production.
The other 2 billion of the missing budget is distributed between the central corporate of Pemex and the subsidiaries PEMEX Transformación Industrial, PEMEX Refining, PEMEX Logistics, and PEMEX Fertilizantes.
It should be noted that, as part of the procedures in such cases, the ASF has given PEMEX and its subsidiaries the opportunity to provide PEMEX and its subsidiaries with the results of financial audits and observed resources, they can present data or evidence proving the use of the money or, where appropriate, that they proceed with their return.
However, taking into account that the latest irregularities detected in lozoya’s management correspond to the fiscal year 2016, they already add up to three years in which the correct use of this money or its return to the Ministry of Finance has not been documented.
What happened to the money?
The auditors detected at least 94 operations, actions or omissions in Petróleos Mexicanos and its subsidiaries during the management of Lozoya, each of which represents a possible breach of the purse and which, to a large extent, caused the snac of resources that have not been replaced or explained.
Among the anomalies there is everything. For example, a missing 18 million 681 thousand pesos were detected in Pemex for alleged transfers of more than 3,000 passengers in helicopters transporting personnel or cargo for which there is no evidence of having been carried out.
The auditors also detected unjustifiably reported payments such as that of 112 million from that subsidiary in 2016 by a contract where the works were not finished and therefore it was not appropriate to make such a transaction.
It is that same year PEMEX Exploration and Production reported the expenditure of 106 million480 thousand pesos for the hiring of 133 maniobristas related to one of the contracts, without credible evidence of the work they would have done.
Read: Former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya is detained in Malaga, Spain
Another case was the payment reported by PEMEX Industrial Transformation amounting to 43 million 628 thousand pesos as part of works related to water supply and cooling lines. that didn’t really take place.
The common denominator in this and other cases relates to unjustified payments, cost overruns, or penalties and penalties to contractors who were not claimed and represent possible fraud. All this in addition to the sub-exercise of resources that were also not reinstated.
Legal offensive against the clock
As detailed yesterday in this note, Emilio Lozoya currently has two apprehension orders turned against him for the alleged bribes he would have received from the construction companies Odebrecht and Altos Hornos of Mexico to be favored with contracts. These orders gave way to the mission of a red interpol file against him that allowed his location and arrest yesterday in Spain.
The above cases were the result of complaints promoted by the new administration of Pemex with the accompaniment of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Finance. The latter also says it has other inquests in development.
As long as the ASF has already promoted a criminal complaint in the past year related to five audits carried out on the acquisition of fertilizer plants which, so far, continue to be integrated into the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, without being sent to a judge. These complaints would be joined by the others to be presented by the Audit for the anomalies already mentioned.
Read more: Emilio Lozoya authorized Pemex to buy a bankrupt shipyard
However, the Mexican authorities are now having the challenge of expediting the process and possible judicialization of new cases against Lozoya in order to include them in the formal extradition request to be submitted to Spain.
This is because the extradition treaty of Mexico and Spain – like most agreements of this nature – has a so-called «specialty» clause that implies that a person who is handed over to another country can only be tried for the crimes for which his surrender was formally requested.
If the extradition were to take place under the current conditions, Lozoya could only be prosecuted in Mexico for the alleged bribes of Odebrecht and Altos Hornos, which are the cases for which he has ongoing arrest warrants.
On this point, FGR authorities only confirmed that several more files are being worked on with the idea of being prosecuted as soon as possible.
Toextradition levy is one option: defense
Emilio Lozoya’s defense lawyers in Mexico did not rule out the possibility that his client could accept the extradition procedure to expedite his process, although they stated that this will depend on what he decides and the advice he receives from a team of lawyers he will hire in Spain.
They explained that from what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RES) in Mexico has read in the media, it plans to expedite the extradition request, so it will be at the end of next week approximately when the formal request might be ready.
«Lozoya has the option of challenging The extradition of Spain or agreeing to return to Mexico, so if he accepted the matter he would expedite. If challenged, the process could be extended by 8 months to a year,» his advocates said.
Relatives, accomplices and fugitives
Last year the FGR applied for and obtained arrest warrants not only against Lozoya but against close relatives and collaborators who allegedly participated in the fraudulent money laundering scheme to hide the alleged bribes from the aforementioned Pemex suppliers.
These include his sister Gilda Susana Lozoya Austin and his wife – a German national – Marielle Helene Eckes. Both have red interpol tokens and are considered international fugitives. Authorities have clues about their possible displacement in the United States and Germany.
Another one with an order of apprehension for the same events is Lozoya’s mother, Gilda Margarita Austin Solís, who in July last year was arrested in Germany. The lady agreed to be extradited voluntarily and on November 2a a judge in Mexico allowed her to continue her criminal proceedings under home roots.
At the end of April, a judge’s deadline for the FGR to close the investigation against Austin Solis and file the formal charge, albeit according to some sources, this procedure may have an advance ruling.
On this point, defence lawyers told Political Animal they don’t intend for their client to accept any responsibility in exchange for a shorter process, but they recalled that the FGR has the possibility of withits from impeachment if it considers it so.
The FGR also obtained a warrant against businessman Alonso Ancira Elizondo, head of the board of directors of Altos Hornos de México. Last year Ancira was arrested in Spain worst obtained the benefit of provisional release, while his extradition trial is carried out which to date continues.
With information from Francisco Sandoval.
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