Judge calls retired Mexican general at risk of absconding, keeps him in jail over extradition case

Bob mackin

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has ordered a retired Mexican general to remain in jail indefinitely after refusing his bail application on December 23.

Eduardo Leon Trauwitz, 55, was arrested on December 17 in the greater Vancouver area. The Mexican government wants the former security chief of state-owned oil company Pemex to be extradited on charges of fuel theft and organized crime. If convicted, Trauwitz faces up to 60 years in prison.

Eduardo Leon Trauwitz arrested in British Columbia

Judge Veronica Jackson has rejected Trauwitz’s attorney’s bail offer to reside at her daughter’s apartment in Surrey under a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Her daughter, a business student at the university, had offered to stand surety for $ 20,000, but Jackson said she was unable to provide a monetary deposit.

In Jackson’s oral judgment, she ruled that Trauwitz did not pass the bail test because he “doesn’t usually reside in Canada, he has very little connection to him here.”

“He faces deportation from Canada if he is sentenced to a surrender, and a sentence involving a long period of imprisonment if convicted in Mexico,” Jackson said. “He’s used to not appearing in court and running away from jurisdiction, rather than face the charges against him.”

Trauwitz arrived in Vancouver in May 2019, instead of appearing in Mexican court that week. He has since claimed refugee status in Canada. He has a work permit, but the court said he did not have a job.

“It is alleged that between January 2015 and August 2016, Mr. Trauwitz used his post at state-controlled company Pemex to facilitate the theft of at least 1.87 billion liters of oil from underground taps in Pemex pipelines, ”Jackson said.

Jackson said an attorney for former Pemex employees filed a criminal complaint in March 2017 with Mexico’s attorney general’s office, saying the employees were threatened with dismissal if they did not agree to handle the faucets. illegals found in Pemex pipelines.

“During the investigation, statements were obtained from Pemex employees who witnessed the illegal conduct and identified the person primarily responsible as Mr. Trauwitz,” she said.

Trauwitz’s next court appearance in Vancouver will be on January 26.

Trauwitz, who was a bodyguard for ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto, denies the charges.

On December 22, Trauwitz lawyer Tom Arbogast called his client a “man of the fall”.

“Sir. Trauwitz was the one trying to stop the oil theft and his actions actually prohibited other corrupt individuals from engaging in carbon theft,” Arbogast said. they are higher in the political food chain. “

Mexican state oil company Pemex

In 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, aka “AMLO”, estimated fuel theft losses at $ 2.5 billion to $ 3.5 billion per year. At the end of October 2021, an oil pipeline exploded in the state of Puebla and one person was killed in a failed theft attempt.

Trauwitz is the second leading Mexican to be extradited to British Columbia in this century.

boss of the miners’ union Napoleon Gomez Urrutia fled to Vancouver in 2006 and spent 12 years in exile. He was accused of embezzling $ 55 million from a union trust fund. While in the city, Gomez became a Canadian citizen. In 2018, he returned to Mexico when “AMLO” appointed him senator.

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Martin E. Berry