MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's new president says the theft of $3 billion of fuel every year from the country's state-run fuel depots and pipelines is an inside job.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says thieves didn't just drill taps into government pipelines. He says company employees stole fuel and distributed it, or helped thieves by ensuring fuel continued to run through pipelines.
The country's top prosecutor said Thursday that criminal investigations have been opened against three employees of the state-owned oil company Pemex.
While thieves drill an average of about 42 illegal taps per day, Lopez Obrador said that represents only about 20 percent of losses. The rest was presumably stolen from distribution centers aboard tanker trucks.
Officials say they have already reduced the thefts since Lopez Obrador took office on Dec. 1