Mexico seeks arrest of three Banamex employees in Oceanografia case

MEXICO CITY, June 20 Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:02pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, June 20 (Reuters) - Mexico's Attorney General is seeking to arrest three Banamex employees, including at least one senior employee, in connection with a fraud probe involving the Citigroup Mexican unit and oil services company Oceanografia, the attorney general said on Friday.

Citigroup has discovered some $565 million in loans linked to fraud at Banamex. In May, it fired 11 employees amid an internal review.

The investigation is focusing on how Oceanografia , a top service provider to state-run oil giant Pemex , was able to borrow hundreds of millions from Banamex using as collateral its own estimates of payments it was owed by Pemex.

"The bank employees who allowed this to happen broke the law," Attorney General Jesus Murillo told a special commission of Mexico's senators on Friday. "These are not second-class employees. At least in one case, one is or was a high-ranking employee."

There could also be more arrests to come from companies involved, Murillo said, adding, "And that is all I'm going to say, but there are more and there are more lines to the investigation." (Reporting by Elinor Comlay and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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