For many years, gangs in Honduras have been making money from stealing oil. However, after 50,000 liters of stolen oil were recovered from the city of Puerto Cortes, authorities have finally taken the decision to target this crime.
The Honduras Attorney General’s Office has put a special operations unit in place and so, an investigation has been opened after $122,600 worth of oil was seized. A case was filed with Honduras’s Prosecutor Against Organized Crime three years ago, but an investigation was never taken forward. However, now they have new evidence and so, an attempt is going to be made to stop a crime that has created a lucrative income for gangs.
This is a crime that has commonly take place on 8 Avenida, which is a road that links the city with the local oil refinery. As trucks passed through, gangs would milk the trucks by removing small amounts of fuel, even when they were moving. Bunker fuel would also be stolen as well other forms of oil that left the refinery. The oil would them be stored in the surrounding neighborhoods such as Campo Rojo where the 50,000 liters were recovered.
While the police had known about this criminal activity for some time, there was a lack of complaints or charges which made it difficult to prosecute, especially when truck drivers were working closely with gangs to assist in the remove of fuel. Despite this, there is now a renewed interest in this crime and bringing it to an end.