Speedboats and Kalashnikovs: Pirates Attack Oil Platforms in Mexico

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The boardings in Mexico have increased by 310% and involve losses of more than 10 million euros for the State Enterprise of Petróleos Mexicanos.

In Mexico, pirates do not wave black flags with skulls and crossbones, nor do they wear eye patches or wooden legs. The old codes of piracy are no longer respected. Now what is imposed in the gulf is to attack with speedboats oil platforms armed with Ak47 (kalashnikov) and take a substantial booty with total and absolute impunity.

In the last year, boardings have grown by 310% , which represents losses estimated at 224 million pesos (more than 10 million euros) to the plundered and indebted State Enterprise of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) that owes 97% of its assets ; just over 3.6 trillion pesos. In 2018 there were 197 assaultson platforms located off the coast of Campeche and the coast of Tabasco.

The modus operandi is repeated in each case reported. A group of boats, sometimes flotillas of more than 20 boats , is approaching at nightfall, they threaten the little vigilance, they climb the platforms that rise 20 meters above the sea level and plunder at the whim of the goods that they find in their path .

They come to steal complete heliports worth 20 million (as in the case of the Tsimin-B platform), fixed drilling equipment, valves, pumping equipment, batteries, complete autonomous breathing equipment, perimeter lamps, manhole covers and, subsequently , they market it in the black market and the internet. Robberies that at times could have caused major oil spills  and that have not been declared.

According to EL ESPAÑOL, there are many assaults that have not been reported as the value of the stolen being of little value and lack the unitary value of the pieces, essential to process the complaint before the authorities. There is at least a record of 163 assaults of which no complaint was ever filed .

There are also few arrests that have occurred in the last year, despite the fact that the area where the oil rigs are located is one of maritime exclusion and the small number of ports from which the pirate ships can depart.

Speedboats and Kalashnikovs: Pirates Attack Oil Platforms in Mexico

Black oil market

The president, López Obrador, said in his daily meeting with the media, that beyond the theft of gasolines in land pipelines,  crude oil is being looted on the maritime platforms. This suggests that in Mexico there has been aflourishing black market for years, which markets gasoline, crude oil and equipment.

All this despite the fact that these criminal acts, which endanger the security of the facilities and the environment, are clearly penalized with up to 25 years in prison.

In a statement to the media, Pemex said that it has strengthened the security systems in coordination with the Secretary of the Navy without specifying how the fight against piracy will be carried out for being, they say, reserved information.

One of the measures is to exhort the population to report criminal acts anonymously by phone 018002289660, or write (also anonymously) to the e-mail: vigilante@pemex.com.

 

Source: El Espanol