Peru Gangs Step Up Fuel Theft

Organized gangs in Peru are increasingly siphoning oil from the Northern Peruvian Pipeline, according to a report in La Republica.

The newspaper saw police records which detailed the extent of the theft, reporting that gangs drill holes into the pipeline and have stolen an unknown quantity of oil in around 20 incidents since the beginning of 2010.

Police said the fuel would likely be processed into kerosene, according to the report. Kerosene is commonly used to produce cocaine, and the Peruvian government has been tightening controls on its sale in recent months.

According to the report, the methods of the criminals are “diverse and systematic.”

InSight Crime has noted the growth of fuel theft in Latin America, with criminal gangs targeting pipelines in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, and Bolivia.