Oceanografia CEO Held for Questioning by Mexico Attorney General

Mexico’s top prosecutor’s office said it is questioning Oceanografia SA Chief Executive Officer Amado Yanez after Citigroup (C) Inc. accused his company of fabricating accounts receivables to obtain loans.

The government has made a request with a federal judge to detain Yanez, who cannot leave the attorney general’s office until a decision is made, according to a press official for the prosecutor, who asked not to be named in accordance with policy. If granted, Yanez may be held for as many as 40 days without charges at a government-appointed facility, the person said.

Mexico took control of Yanez’s oil contractor Feb. 28, placing it under the Finance Ministry’s Asset Transfer and Administration Service, after Citigroup alleged $400 million in loan fraud. The Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico-based company had almost 70 ships and more than 11,000 employees, according to its website, and its unaudited financial statements show it was on pace to achieve annual revenue last year of about $1 billion. The company gets most of its sales from state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.

Oceanografia’s creditors have already seized control of the OSA Goliath, the company’s 180-meter construction ship, claiming it as collateral after missed payments. Bond trustee Norsk Tillitsmann said it hired Pareto Securities AS and Pareto JGO Shipbrokers AS to sell the vessel.

The official said a news conference was scheduled for 5 p.m. Mexico City time on the Yanez case.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net; Carlos Manuel Rodriguez in Mexico City at carlosmr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Walsh at bwalsh8@bloomberg.net Robert Jameson

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