OHL Mexico denies it received information on tenders ahead of time

miércoles 8 de julio de 2015 20:26 GYT

MEXICO CITY, July 8 (Reuters) - OHL Mexico on Wednesday dismissed a new recording that appeared to show a now-departed executive saying the construction firm had received information about government tenders before they were made public.

The company, a subsidiary of Spanish construction firm OHL , has been battered by corruption allegations since recordings of its executives were first leaked in late April.

It said in a statement that the latest recordings were an "illegal and manipulated" part of a smear campaign.

The new recording, released on Tuesday night, purported to show former OHL Mexico executive Pablo Wallentin, who resigned after the first scandal, telling company Chairman Jose Andres de Oteyza that a Transport Ministry official had given him CDs with information about two highway project bids.

According to the leak posted online, the taped conversations were from February and March. Wallentin resigned in May.

The ministry said in a statement it had given OHL Mexico and other contractors information about one of the projects, but that it had merely been following common practice in that case. It did not comment on the second project.

In a separate conversation in the same leaked recording, Wallentin also appeared to suggest to a secretary that the company pay for a vacation for Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza. Ruiz Esparza "categorically" denied this had occurred, via his official Twitter account on Wednesday. (Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Writing by Max de Haldevang; Editing by Leslie Adler)