Spain on Monday gave its go-signal for the extradition of a former oil firm chief over charges of bribery and money laundering.
A report by Al Jazeera said that Spain’s National Administrative Tribunal has approved for the deportation to Mexico of former Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) chief executive officer Emilio Lozoya.
Lozoya, who headed PEMEX from 2012 to 2016, was wanted in Mexico for issues involving alleged bribes paid by Odebrecht, the largest construction company in Latin America, and the 2015 purchase of a fertilizer plant by Pemex at an inflated price.
It can be learned that Odebrecht admitted that it paid hundreds of millions of dollars to win contracts in 12 countries, including Mexico. Of the total bribe, Lozoya was said to have accepted $10 million in exchange for awarding public contracts to Odebrecht, which he strongly denied.
In June, the ex-oil firm chief dropped his fight against extradition and agreed to return to Mexico.
Lozoya was a close confidant of former president Enrique Pena Nieto, who allegedly bagged more than $10 million worth of bribes from Odebrecht since Lozoya took office as chief executive.
The scandal has brought down other presidents as well as top officials in countries such as Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. However, no arrests were so far made in connection with the case.
A few months after fleeing Mexico, Lozoya was arrested in Malaga City, Spain in February on an international warrant of arrest issued by Mexico.
The cases against him raised eyebrows about how much other public officials in the previous administration in Mexico knew about his actions.
Lozoya’s extradition was widely expected to boost Pena Nieto’s successor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has openly announced a serious crackdown on corruption.