Odebrecht confirmed a fine of 543 million pesos for lying to Pemex

Mexico City.- A federal court today confirmed a fine of 543 million pesos and disqualification for three years, imposed on the Brazilian company Odebrecht Engineering and International Construction, for lying in one of the contracts that Pemex Refinación awarded it directly in the past six-year term.

The Federal Administrative Court of Justice (TFJA) rejected the company’s arguments to challenge the sanction, issued by the Ministry of Public Function (SFP) in April 2019.

The contract from which the sanction derived, for 1,811 million pesos, was awarded in 2015 for the construction of accesses and external works of the waste management project at the Tula Refinery, one of several that the Brazilian firm obtained after paying alleged bribes of more than 10 million dollars to the then director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Emilio Lozoya.

Judge Carlos Mena Adame explained today that on December 5, 2016, upon signing an agreement modifying this contract with Pemex, Odebrecht declared that it had all the necessary permits and authorizations for the work.

However, the construction company did not yet have the registration as a generator of hazardous waste with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), which it requested until May 25, 2017.

The Superior Chamber of the TFJA considered unanimously that the SFP did found and correctly motivated the sanction, which was imposed based on the Federal Anti-Corruption Law in Public Procurement, a rule that was only in force for four years.

Odebrecht can challenge today’s ruling by direct amparo before a collegiate circuit court in administrative matters.

According to SFP records, this is one of two administrative sanctions against Odebrecth that are in effect.

The other, which is a disqualification for three years, but without a fine, was also published in April 2019, and was imposed on Constructora Norberto Odebrecth, another subsidiary of the same group.

Beyond the bribes to Lozoya, the construction company has denied having breached its obligations, and even in January 2019 it demanded from Pemex by commercial means the payment of 1,819 million pesos, for unpaid work, financial costs and damages and damages, derived from the contract for works of the project of use of residuals, that was rescinded by the state company.

This lawsuit, however, was dismissed due to expiration by a civil collegiate court, in October 2020.

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