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Modern day pirates assault three Pemex platforms in Gulf

Campeche, Mexico — Three Pemex oil platforms were assaulted by modern day pirates in less than 12 hours. The assaults happened between 10:45 p.m. on June 28 and early morning hours of June 29.

An undisclosed number of armed men docked three of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) platforms located off Campeche waters. The pirates, who arrived in a small motorized vessel, docked three platforms within hours located in the Sonda de Campeche (Campeche Bank).

Workers on board the platforms said the men arrived in a riverboat and fired shots of intimidation into the air before boarding. Workers were forced to take shelter while the pirates stripped the platforms of materials and equipment.

Reports say the Akal-Charly platform in the Cantarell field was the first to be assaulted at 10:45 p.m. on June 28. Pemex’s Akal Bravo Nova, also in the the Cantarell field, was the second to be assaulted. A maintenance crew reported the robbery of the Akal Bravo Nova when they arrived for work at 7:00 a.m. the following morning.

The Ichalkil-A was the third to be stripped of its electronic equipment, wiring and tools at 3:30 a.m. After the pirates left, personnel on board the platform notified authorities, saying that several individuals with long weapons had boarded.

It has been reported that ship La Bamba, belonging to Energía Naviera, was also assaulted by a hooded armed commando wearing military-style clothing. The vessel is used for work at the Abkatún-Pol-Chuc Production Asset, located about 100 kilometers northwest of Ciudad del Carmen.

Pemex has not released an official statement on the modern day piracy. Estimated losses in materials is unknown. It has been reported that several hours after the reports of the robberies, the Secretary of the Navy arrived at the platforms.

In October of 2018, a group of pirates also raided several Pemex platforms off the southern Gulf coast. At the time, Senator Cecilia Sánchez García requested that the Secretary of the Navy put an end to the robberies and that they deliver a detailed report of their plan to combat piracy.

“The assaults are committed by a kind of pirates who, with small motor boats, arrive heavily armed at the platforms, subdue the workers, putting their lives at risk,” said Sánchez García regarding the 2018 Pemex pirate invasion.

“In the face of criminal acts that have occurred against oil platforms in the southern Gulf of Mexico, Pemex has assigned more protection personnel on board at work centers and has increased the use of technologies to detect and report alleged acts of intrusion,” Pemex reported at the time.

Piracy against Pemex platforms saw an increase from 114 in 2016 to 276 in 2017. Authorities have not provided updated figures.