According to The Latin American Tribune, security forces in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas have recovered more than 420,000 liters (110,960 gallons) of diesel stolen from state-owned oil company PEMEX, authorities said.
The Tamaulipas Coordination Group, made up of state and federal security forces, said in a statement that the fuel was recovered in three separate operations.
The first occurred on September 25 in the town of Altamira, where authorities seized four tanker trucks used to store the stolen fuel and a tractor-trailer and arrested one suspect.
A day later, a second operation on the Tampico-El Mante Highway led to the arrest of the driver of a tractor-trailer that was towing a tanker truck containing 30,000 liters of diesel stolen from a Pemex pipeline.
The most recent operation occurred on October 4 at a residence in the town of Madero, where authorities seized 396,375 liters of stolen diesel, 13 tanker trucks and two cargo trucks.
COMMENT: PEMEX says fuel theft results in financial losses totaling $5 billion annually.
Theft of fuel from PEMEX pipelines, known in México as “milking,” is common, with both individuals and gangs involved in the illegal activity.
A total of 2,523 fuel theft cases were registered in 2013, according to the state-owned oil company.
The federal government deployed additional security forces units in Tamaulipas earlier this year and purged law enforcement agencies in an effort to stop a surge in drug-related violence in the northeastern state
Fuel theft via illegal pipeline taps is also common in the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Jalisco, Sonora, Veracruz and Puebla.