Mexican president says Vitol offered Pemex $30 million in damages after scandal

Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, offered to Mexican national oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) about $30 million in compensation after Vitol admitted to paying bribes, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

Vitol agreed to pay $164 million last year to resolve a U.S. investigation that alleged the company paid millions of dollars in bribes, including to Pemex employees in exchange for lucrative contracts. Pemex’s commercial arm temporarily suspended business with Vitol during the investigation.

Vitol offered Pemex compensation of about $30 million due to the bribery scandal, Lopez Obrador said at a regular news conference. He said it is the government’s objective to determine who accepted the bribes at Pemex, but that a prosecutor would be in charge of the process.

“If we do not know who, we cannot accept the supposed reparations of the damage because we would be covering up, accomplices,” Lopez Obrador said.

As part of the total compensation, Vitol offered around $17 million in cash to Pemex and an unknown amount to cover contracts that Pemex no longer wished to carry out with Vitol, Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero said.

Under Lopez Obrador’s direction, Vitol’s payments will go to a finance ministry institution that manages confiscated funds due to corruption or organized crime, Romero said.