News Around the Republic of Mexico
|Mexico Arrests Pemex Oil Official in Bribery Case|
Robin Emmott - Reuters
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July 30, 2010
Mexico City - Mexican police have arrested an official at state oil monopoly Pemex on suspicion of trying to sell an exploration contract for around $19,000, the attorney general's office said Thursday.
The official in the exploration and production arm of Pemex , one of the biggest companies in Latin America, was arrested in the southern state of Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico in June after seeking the bribe from a businessman, the office said in a statement.
Police declined to provide the employee's name or position, but the attorney general's office said he had already taken the businessman's sports utility vehicle as a guarantee he would pay the bribe.
Two Campeche state policemen who helped the Pemex worker by threatening the businessman are also under arrest.
Federal police are looking for another Pemex oil official they say was involved in the bribe attempt.
Mexico is the world's No. 7 oil producer, but output has declined as major fields age and underinvestment takes a toll.
Oil analysts also say billions of dollars are also lost to corruption in a company infamous for its red tape and powerful oil workers' union.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has tried to reform Pemex, which funds a third of the federal budget, with an energy sector overhaul in 2008.
But Pemex Chief Executive Juan Jose Suarez said recently that the reform is too complex for the company and that it needs fine-tuning.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)