Pemex releases names of managers allegedly bribed by Vitol, report says

(Reuters) Mexico’s state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) disclosed the names of two former managers that allegedly received bribes from the world’s largest independent commodity trader, Vitol, newspaper Reforma reported on Friday, citing independent journalism organization Quinto Elemento Lab.

Citing a document obtained through the Mexican transparency institute, Quinto Elemento named the two former general managers of contracting for Pemex Procurement International in Houston as Carlos Espinosa Barba and Gonzalo Guzman Manzanilla.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier this year that he had received the names from Vitol but declined to disclose details.

Lopez Obrador had repeatedly and publicly insisted that the commodity trader, which signed a deferred prosecution agreement and paid penalties in the United States and Brazil, also needed to name those responsible in Mexico. read more

Neither Vitol nor Pemex immediately responded to further requests for comment on Friday. Reuters was unable to locate the two former officials.

Reuters revealed last year that Pemex had cancelled several contracts with Vitol after months of negotiations led nowhere. read more

In earlier statements to Reuters, Vitol has said that in the wake of the corruption scandal it accepted responsibility for its actions and acknowledged the Mexican state oil company’s concerns.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the response to Reforma’s freedom of information request as the transparency institute’s server that holds such public documents was down for hours on Friday.

In December 2020, Houston-based Vitol Americas agreed to pay $164 million to U.S. and Brazilian authorities after admitting it bribed officials in Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador between 2015 and 2020 to obtain business with state oil companies there.

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