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Pemex dismisses 8 more for pipeline network theft

Heroica Veracruz, Veracruz — Eight more employees of Mexico’s Pemex have been suspended for alleged oil theft. The news came after an investigation discovered the group to be part of a network that alters valves to steal oil from pipelines.

The Ministry of Public Function (SFP) suspended the eight public servants assigned to Petróleos Mexicanos for their alleged responsibility in the crime. The employees were assigned to the Sector Ductos Minatitlán de Pemex Logística.

The investigation pointed to results that these public servants are part of an organized network that, repeatedly, manipulated and altered the sectioning valves of San Octavio at the Minatitlán-Mexico Poliducto in Acayucan, Veracruz, to illegally seize hydrocarbons.

The oil company added that the investigations continue with the purpose of defining responsibilities and determining the total number of public servants involved. So far the suspension is a precautionary measure that does not prejudge the probable administrative responsibilities of those involved, clarified Pemex and the SFP.

With them, they add 53 oil employees that, since August of last year, were denounced as likely being responsible for forming part of networks of public servants dedicated to commit the crime.

Pemex has started from the suspension of activities, with the dismissals of those involved in various facilities, including those of Minatitlán, Chihuahua and Salamanca. The crime costs the company and the country more than 20 billion peso annually, which confirms that part of the problem of fuel theft is occurring in-house.

The problem for the company lies in the participation of its own staff in an illicit activity that grows year after year. Last year, the company found an average of 28 clandestine outlets per month drilled into various pipelines throughout the country.

On December 14, another eight public servants assigned to the Storage and Dispatch Terminal (TAD) of Pemex Chihuahua were dismissed. It was part of an organized network that operated technological devices to alter the measurement parameters in the filling of fuel tankers.