Cancun, Q, R. — Municipal police and navy personnel were involved in the recovery of a National Immigration Institute (INM) van and subsequent rescue of seven officers.
Late Tuesday night, an INM van that was transporting seven immigration officers from a shift at the Cancun International Airport disappeared.
The INM van was reportedly highjacked by a group of armed men shortly after leaving the airport. The four male and three female INM officers were in the van heading to the INM office of Cancun when their vehicle was hijacked.
According to the Secretariat of Citizen Security of Benito Juárez, the van was found after a motorist 911 report of an abaondoned INM van in the Avante area of Cancun. At almost the same time, the INM office of Cancun reported that a unit with seven officers on board failed to arrive at the city center office as scheduled.
Authorities began a search operation for the missing officers after locating the INM van. The van was found by military personnel crashed in weeds in the Avante neighborhood of Cancun early Wednesday morning. There was no one inside.
A search for the INM officers lead police to an area near the airport. Police were able to locate the missing INM staff using GPS that was found active on one of the INM officer’s phones. The seven kidnapped officers were found inside a criminal safehouse.
The building was located in a private area behind the airport. At the scene, police were met with gunfire as those responsible for the kidnappings escaped on foot. Inside, the seven immigration officers were found in their uniforms laying face down on the floor.
An ambulance was requested to evaluate all seven before they were taken to the State Attorney General’s Office for statements. None of the agents were reported to be injured. A motive for the kidnappings is not known.