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New corruption scandal looms over Pemex

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mexican oil services company Integradora de Servicios Oro Negro, which declared bankruptcy in September 2017, published an ad in the New York Times on Monday denouncing "endemic corruption" at Mexican state-owned company Pemex and blaming the firm for its collapse.

Oro Negro leased five jackup rigs to Pemex between 2013 and 2015 for a contract period of three to six years, according to local daily El Financiero. The company said it was forced into bankruptcy by the cancelation of these contracts after it refused to accept new contractual terms imposed by Pemex.

According to Oro Negro it has recordings of various high-level officials at Pemex, including former company CEO Emilio Lozoya Austín, demonstrating that the company received abusive treatment during the contract negotiation process. The company is seeking damages equivalent to US$1bn.

Oro Negro stated that it published the ad because of reports in Mexican media that its executives are under investigation by Mexican authorities for supposed embezzlement of funds that were to be used to pay bondholders, according to daily La Jornada.

These accusations cast a pall over Pemex, whose image has suffered since the Odebrecht scandal, in which Lozoya was accused by executives of Brazilian engineering conglomerate Odebrecht of accepting bribes.

In a previous press release Oro Negro also accused Deutsche Bank of ignoring legal orders for payments which would have allowed the firm to continue paying employees.

The company will seek damages under Nafta arbitration rules, according to local media.

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