Mexico’s Pemex suspends 8 employees for helping fuel thieves

March 5, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s state-owned oil company says eight of its workers have been suspended for allegedly helping thieves steal fuel from government pipelines.

Oil company employees have long been suspected of aiding thieves who drill into pipelines when pressure is low. But their involvement is seldom proven.

Petroleos Mexicanos said Monday the eight workers were employed near a major refinery at the pipelines unit in Minatitlan, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Their suspensions come as the number of oil thefts has skyrocketed in recent years.

Thieves drilled 10,363 illegal taps into state-owned pipelines in 2017, or about 28 every day. That is about a 50 percent increase from the 6,873 taps found in 2016.

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