Several arrested for gasoline theft in Mexico
Authorities in Monterrey, Nuevo León, conducted a sting operation over the weekend, which led to the arrest of 23 alleged members of an armed criminal group that controlled gasoline theft in the northeast Mexican state of Nuevo León.
Within the group was the head of the criminal organization who authorities identified under alias “Juanito” or “El 90.” Authorities say he is originally from Tamaulipas and affiliated with the Gulf Cartel. He allegedly helped steal gasoline from Matamoros and Cuidad Madero.
Sting operations were conducted in the Valle Azul colonia in Apodaca and in the Riveras de Linda Vista and the Paseo Amberes colonias in the city of Guadalupe, just outside of Monterrey.
During the sting operation in Guadalupe, authorities say they also found the body of a 45-year-old man who appeared to have been held hostage.
The State Investigation Agency of Nuevo León said they confiscated eight firearms, magazines, cocaine, marijuana and 10 vehicles, one of which was reported as stolen.
In recent weeks, newly-elected Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been cracking down on fuel theft by shutting down oil pipelines originating from state-run PEMEX refineries and distribution centers, known to be tapped by criminal organizations to steal gasoline.
These actions in turn caused long lines at gas stations in many parts of Mexico, including cities along the border with Texas in northern Tamaulipas, which experts say could impact the Valley’s economy with delays in commercial truck traffic from Mexico.
Military personnel across Mexico were stationed at PEMEX refineries to watch-over operations and escort fuel delivery, which the president has said will help fight corruption within PEMEX.