An Oil Tanker with 60 Thousand Barrels of Crude Oil was seized in port of Veracruz: AMLO
MEXICO: An oil tanker was detained in the port of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 60 thousand barrels of crude oil, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO) on Thursday.
“Guess what? It turns out that for the first time, because there was always rumors but no evidence, we are now investigating a ship with capacity to transport 300 thousand barrels of crude oil a day. It was detained with more than 60 thousand barrels of crude oil, yesterday. In Coatzacoalcos.” said AMLO at his morning press conference.
The President explained the fuel theft, commonly called “huachicol”, has been reduced by 95% during his administration. Yet, there were rumors about the existence of a black market of oil theft, but he said there was not a proof until now, when a large oil tanker was detected along the cost of Veracruz carrying more than 60 thousand barrels of crude oil heading to the U.S.
The seized oil was possible due to a recent change in the management of the Mexican ports that were normally supervised by the SAT (the department of communications and transport), to the Marines and Cost Guard. This was done through a law passed in the Mexican congress this Wednesday, in order to allow the change.
President Lopez Obrador assured that those responsible will be bring to justice, and that the situation will be controlled with the new measurements. AMLO points to a possible involvement of the SAT, and Customs Enforcement.
“It takes time, but, I highlight again the importance of the armed forces, both the Army and the Marines, if it were not for their support and great job, how would regular authorities deal with these organized crime gangs, and also the white-collar crime? Because it has to do with SAT authorizations and customs “he said.
In 2009, a Mexico and U.S. probe found an oil thefts scheme to steal millions of dollars worth of crude oil and refined products from Mexico’s state-owned oil company PEMEX, and sell it to U.S. refiners. The United States had to returned $2.4 million in funds generated from oil smuggling to the Mexican government.
“There is a cooperative effort by the United States and Mexican governments to investigate the theft of petroleum products from Mexico,” said Nancy Herrera, the then spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Houston.
Then, in the summer of 2011, Mexico’s Pemex sued 9 Texas companies for more oil theft. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Houston, Texas, against nine U.S. companies and two American individuals for alleged involvement in buying or processing Mexican oil products stolen by gangs.