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$1.9million oceanfront mansion bought by wife of former Mexican state-oil company CEO is seized

The Mexican Federal Attorney General’s office have confiscated a million dollar mansion amid allegations is was purchased by the wife of the former CEO of the state oil company with bribe money. 

The government locked up the gates to the $1.9million five-room luxury pad in Ixtapa, Guerrero, on Thursday.

The 3,578 square-foot home was purchase in 2013 as a gift by Marielle Helene Eckes, the wife of Emilio Lozoya, who once was the head of PEMEX [Mexico Petroleum].

Prosecutors allege that it was bought with kickback payments received from a government deal with a private firm. 

The palace is just one of three homes located in the exclusive Quita Mar neighborhood. The five-bedroom mansion has its own private beach.

Each of the five bedrooms has its own bathroom, and four feature their own dressing rooms.

The master bedroom boasts its own living room, a terrace, a palm roof, a pergola over the garden to block out the Pacific Coast’s sun and a marquee that offers a direct view of the waters.

There are also two living rooms, a pair of storage rooms, a fitness gym, a film room, a kitchen, a laundry room and a garage with parking spaces for three vehicles. 

Records accessed by Mexican investigators show that the home was acquired Lozoya’s wife 11 days after the Mexican state-owned petroleum company purchased the Agronitrogenados fertilizer plant from Altos Hornos de Mexico [AHMSA] -one of Mexico’s largest steelmakers.

Lozoya signed off on PEMEX to acquire the plant for $620million Mexican pesos, or $32.6million.

Analysts at the time considered the fertilizer plant to be rundown. 

A May 2019 report by Mexico’s Finance Ministry charged that PEMEX ignored consultants and made high-risk investments with no discernible business strategy.

The ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) froze the bank accounts of Lozoya and AHMSA, and ordered the arrest of its president, Alonso Ancira, who was detained in Spain in late May. 

He refused his extradition to Mexico and was released after posting bail July 1.

The agency discovered unusual transfers between AHMSA and offshore companies linked to Lozoya and Odebrecht, a Brazilian business which is the largest construction company in Latin America. 

In its findings, the FIU revealed the accounts were frozen after ‘multiple operations were identified in the domestic and international financial system that were carried out with resources that allegedly do not come from lawful activities and which are presumed to have derived from acts of corruption.’

Lozoya ran PEMEX from December 2012 to December 2016 during former president Enrique Pena Nieto’s term in office. He is accused of taking at least $10 million in bribe payments from Odebrecht.

An arrest warrant that was issued for Lozoya and his wife on July 4.

Lozoya’s warrant was suspended Friday by a judge in Mexico City. 

The judge issued his ruling based on his decision that the AG’s office provide a report that proves that Eckes bought the house in Ixtapa.

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