US Probes Exxon Contractors In Guyana For Drug Trafficking And Gold Smuggling

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...

Two businessmen from Guyana are being investigated by several U.S. agencies. They were contractors for ExxonMobil, who built a shore-base for ExxonMobil's offshore oil operations.

Suspicions of drug trafficking and money laundering as well as other criminal activities

Reuters

reported

On Friday, the report cited intelligence reports and sources with knowledge of the issue.

Exxon is leading a consortium led by the U.S. Hess Corporation to produce all of the crude oil currently in Guyana, the world's newest nation producing oil, before South America announces the winners in its expected first offshore licensing round later this year.

Exxon has announced that it will be signing a 2022 contract with Guyanese father and son businessmen Nazar Mohammed and Azruddin Muhammad.

Reuters reports that U.S. officials have repeatedly warned the supermajor to avoid doing business with these two individuals.

FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Department of Homeland Security are among the U.S. agencies that are investigating the father and son Mohamed.

According to the intelligence reports Reuters and the sources it has spoken to, they are suspected of smuggling Colombian cocaine, laundering money to drug traffickers, other criminals and sanctioned Russians operating in South America.

Guyanese entrepreneurs are suspected of illegally smuggling gold mined in Venezuela into the U.S.A., Middle East and Europe.

U.S. officials have considered imposing sanctions against the Mohameds.

According to some Reuters sources, Exxon would have to end any business relationships or partnerships with sanctioned persons.

When asked by Reuters for comment on the story, Exxon issued a short statement.

"We comply with all laws applicable where we operate and conduct business."

Nazar Mohammed said in a statement this week to Reuters that he, his son, and their companies had not committed any crimes, and they were unaware of any U.S. investigations into their activities, or any discussion about U.S. sanction against them.

The statement stated that the accusations made by you are false and defamatory.

Exxon produces 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day offshore Guyana as part of a consortium led by Hess Corporation, based in the United States. Exxon and Hess have ambitious plans to increase production. They discovered 11 billion barrels worth of oil offshore Guyana. Hess CEO John Hess said that Guyana was on track to become a wealthy nation.

Pumping 1.2 Million Bpd

By 2027, six FPSOs will be built from the resources found and being developed in the Stabroek Block where Exxon Hess has made over 20 oil discoveries.