Judge Orders Release of Mexican Steel Tycoon Mr Alonso Ancira
Border Land Beat reported that a federal judge has suspended the criminal case against Mexican steel tycoon Mr Alonso Ancira, who was imprisoned in Spain for nearly two years and extradited to Mexico earlier this year, ordering his immediate release after Mr Ancira worked out a deal with Mexican prosecutions and will pay USD 216 million in damages to have his corruption and money laundering charges dropped. The judge said that Pemex, the Attorney General's Office and the Financial Intelligence Unit agreed to free Ancira of all charges.
Mr Ancira was facing corruption and money laundering charges after he was implicated in the fraudulent sale purchase of Agros Nitrogenados, a plant fertilizer firm and subsidiary of Altos Hornos de Mexico. According to court documents, Mr Ancira sold the firm at an inflated price to Mr Emilio Lozoya, former chief of the state-owned oil company Pemex. Mr Lozoya bought Agro Nitrogenados for USD 475 million when the property was only worth USD 50 million. This corruption case unfolded during the administration of President Mr Enrique Peña Nieto 2012–2018.
Investigators also showed that Pemex did not do a fair bidding process or a competitive analysis to determine if Agro Nitrogenados was the best candidate for Pemex's new plant fertilizing efforts. Agro Nitrogenados had incomplete, damaged and unusable fertilizer equipment; most of the machinery was over 30 years old and had not been used for at least 18 years. This should have eliminated Agro Nitrogenados as an option for Pemex's plans.
Mr Ancira was born in Mexico City in 1952. He studied law at the University of Anahuac and got an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Incarnate Word and Texas A&M University. In 1991, he was promoted to Managing Director of AHMSA, and in 1993 he became the President of the National Chamber of Iron and Steel. By 2004, he was appointed as the President of AHMSA and all its subsidiaries.