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Repurposed dump truck served as gang's armored vehicle. Repurposed dump truck served as gang's armored vehicle.

Army seizes The Monster, gang’s narco-tank in Michoacán

Found in the Tierra Caliente region, the vehicle is believed to belong to Los Viagras

The army on Friday seized an armored “narco-tank” in Michoacán that allegedly belonged to the Viagras crime gang.

Nicknamed “El Monstruo” (The Monster), the repurposed dump truck was located in Aguililla, one of several Tierra Caliente municipalities where the Viagras operate.

The newspaper El Financiero reported that soldiers spotted the vehicle in the community of El Aguaje, site of an ambush last October that left 13 state police officers dead. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which is engaged in a bloody turf war with the Viagras.

After they sighted the vehicle, the soldiers pursued it before it came to a halt and its occupants fled, allowing the army to seize it without any resistance. A search operation was launched but no arrests were made.

The so-called “narco-tank” was taken to the neighboring municipality of Apatzingán.

El Financiero said the last time the vehicle was seen in combat was in August last year when it was used to help the vigilante and suspected gang member Juan José Farías stop the CJNG from entering the municipality of Tepalcatepec.

Its seizure came the same day as suspected Viagras leader Luis Felipe Barragán Ayala and two other alleged gang members were arrested in Uruapan after a shootout with security forces.

A very similar vehicle that belonged to the leader of the Los Rojos crime gang was found by community police in Guerrero last August. That “narco-tank” was also dubbed “El Monstruo.”

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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