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Feds use drones to find massive fuel theft operation

Ecatepec, State of Mexico — The Government of Mexico along with personnel of the armed forces deactivated a fuel extraction center on two properties in the State of Mexico. Hundreds of 1,000-liter tanks, machinery for drilling pipelines, pipeline and clandestine intakes were found and seized by authorities.

The discovery of the operation comes around the same time Pemex announced a reduction in fuel theft from its pipelines. The company had said that fuel theft had dropped from an average of 4,600 barrels per day in 2020, to around 3,000 a day this year.

The Secretary of Security, Rosa Icela Rodríguez said that those figures should decrease even more with the discovery of these two properties, adding that since 2018, Pemex has lost approximately 137 billion peso to fuel theft.

Laura Velázquez Alzúa, the National Coordinator of Civil Protection said an emergency report of a strong smell of gasoline initiated their search and eventual seizure. Both properties were located along a highway in the municipality of Ecatepec in the State of Mexico using drones.

Once located, Commander Luis Rodríguez Bucio said 300 elements of the National Guard were sent to the area to control traffic and support officials as they began to shut it down.