US investigates Exxon contractors in Guyana for drug trafficking and gold smuggling

According to Reuters, multiple US agencies are conducting investigations into two Guyanese businessmen who are contractors for ExxonMobil. These investigations are based on suspicions of drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activities related to the construction of a shore base for ExxonMobil’s offshore oil operations.

Exxon, in partnership with US Hess Corporation, is the sole producer of crude oil in Guyana, which recently became the world’s newest oil-producing nation.

Later this year, the South American country is anticipated to announce the winners of its inaugural offshore licensing round.

In 2022, Exxon entered into a contract with Nazar Mohamed and Azruddin Mohamed, a father and son duo from Guyana.

Despite repeated warnings from US government officials, the supermajor proceeded with the business agreement, as reported by Reuters.

The FBI, DEA, Department of Homeland Security, and other US agencies are investigating the father and son duo, the Mohameds.

According to intelligence reports seen by Reuters and sources interviewed by their reporters, the Mohameds are suspected of engaging in activities such as smuggling cocaine from Colombia, engaging in money laundering for drug traffickers, other criminals, and sanctioned Russian individuals operating in South America.

Additionally, they are also under suspicion for smuggling illegally mined gold from Venezuela to the US, the Middle East, and Europe.

According to sources cited by Reuters, US officials are contemplating imposing sanctions on the Mohameds. If implemented, this would require Exxon to terminate any business ties and partnerships with individuals under sanctions.

When approached by Reuters for a response to the report, Exxon provided a concise statement, saying, “We adhere to all relevant laws in the regions where we operate and conduct our business.”

Exxon, in collaboration with its US partner Hess Corporation, currently produces approximately 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil offshore Guyana. The Exxon-Hess partnership has made significant discoveries, with over 11 billion barrels of oil found in the productive Stabroek Block.

Their ambitious plans involve increasing production, and Hess CEO John Hess has stated that they aim to reach a pumping capacity of 1.2 million bpd by 2027. This will be facilitated by the development of resources and the deployment of six FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading vessels) in Guyana.



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By Ryan

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