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Guyana Awaits Official U.S. Communication Of Probe Into Exxon Contractor

Guyana will not be taking action against a Guyanese contractor of ExxonMobil until the country is formally notified by the United States that it is investigating persons owning the contractor business, Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has said.  

Last week, Reuters reported that several U.S. agencies were investigating two businessmen from Guyana –contractors for ExxonMobil to build a shore base for the supermajor’s oil operations offshore – on suspicions of drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activities. Exxon announced a contract with Guyanese businessmen Nazar Mohamed and Azruddin Mohamed, a father and a son, in 2022. The supermajor has been repeatedly warned by U.S. government officials to stay away from doing business with the two individuals, according to Reuters.

Addressing the matter in a media briefing, Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said, as carried by Reuters on Thursday, “The government of Guyana will act on this matter when the U.S. engages it officially - if it engages.”

“Right now, we have a story in Reuters, with some allegations,” he added.

The father and son Mohamed are under investigation by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Department of Homeland Security, among other U.S. agencies, according to the Reuters report from last week. They are suspected of smuggling cocaine from Colombia, laundering money for drug traffickers and other criminals, and laundering money for sanctioned Russian individuals operating in South America, according to the intelligence reports Reuters has seen and to the sources its reporters have talked to. The Guyanese businessmen are also suspected of smuggling illegally mined gold from Venezuela to the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe.

Exxon produces around 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil offshore Guyana in a consortium with U.S. partner Hess Corporation. The Exxon-Hess partnership has discovered more than 11 billion barrels of oil offshore Guyana and has ambitious plans to boost production to over 1 million bpd this decade.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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