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  HOME | Mexico

Executive of Mexican Oil Services Firm Arrested in Bank-Fraud Case

MEXICO CITY – Mexican prosecutors carried out an arrest warrant for oil services company Oceanografia’s chief executive officer, who was already being held in preventive detention in a fraud case affecting Citigroup’s Mexican unit Banamex.

Amado Yañez will be brought before a Mexico City judge who had ordered his arrest for his alleged “participation in committing crimes that are under investigation in the case of the Oceanografia company,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The suspect currently is recovering at a hospital after undergoing emergency surgery on May 20, according to the AG’s office, which added that he is under police guard to ensure he does not evade justice.

Yañez, the principal stockholder of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico-based Oceanografia, was placed in pre-charge “arraigo” detention in March so prosecutors could gather more evidence in the case.

“Arraigo” is a controversial legal provision in Mexico that allows suspects to be held either under house arrest or in prison while prosecutors build a case.

Oceanografia, a services provider to Mexican state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, is under investigation for allegedly using fake invoices to obtain some $360 million in loans from Banamex.

The company was seized on Feb. 28 under an order issued by the Attorney General’s Office and a receiver was named to run the company.

Federal prosecutors are investigating Oceanografia for fraud and money laundering, while U.S. officials are also conducting a probe of the company.

The Mexican Social Security Institute and the Infonavit state-run home financing fund also are probing Oceanografia for other irregularities unrelated to the Banamex case.

The company, which has a fleet of nearly 100 vessels, provides well repair and maintenance services to Pemex.

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