Cartels have infiltrated customs offices on the border. Cartels have infiltrated customs offices on the border.

Cartels turn to imports of vehicles, machinery

Boats, cars, ATVs, tractors and tractor trailers targeted in Tamaulipas

Organized crime began diversifying from the drug trade several years ago, but in the state of Tamaulipas that diversification has taken a new focus: criminals are now targeting the importation of vehicles and machinery.


Customs offices at the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa have been infiltrated by drug cartels where they complicate the import process and seize products under false pretences, particularly boats, cars, ATVs, tractors and tractor trailers.

Sources consulted by the newspaper Reforma said that starting a few months ago staff from the the federal taxation administration (SAT) began to tolerate or collaborate with the criminals.

At first, the modus operandi consisted of charging additional — and illegal — fees to the importers, but then the criminals simply began seizing the imports.

Even if the documentation is properly presented and all the required fees are paid, SAT officials cover up for the criminals, giving them the opportunity to “negotiate” with the importers.

If import agencies reject the negotiations, the criminals threaten to destroy the goods if no favorable resolution — for them — is reached.

“This is outright extortion,” said one of Reforma’s sources. “If an individual or company has already paid taxes on the import of vehicles or equipment, they still have to make extra payments to the corruption structure.”

At least one well known Nuevo Laredo-based import agency has halted its operations pertaining to vehicles and equipment after having had a “serious confrontation” with a criminal gang.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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  • Richard

    Que ay de nuevo? this has been going on as long as I remember and I been haciendo negocio on La Frontera since the 70s,
    Are you telling me this is algo nuevo, los payasos piden la mordida and take your shit anyway, they take cars/ trucks they take planes they take cameras, son the same pinches manyosos. this isn’t news this is olds

    • David Nichols

      Pero la mordida es poco mas grande ahora, porque su hambre crece…

  • K. Chris C.

    Got to laugh, as the propaganda spin here is that it’s not the government tyranny stealing the people’s stuff, but another violent cartel that infiltrated the government cartel. Now that’s rich.

    Coming to the TSA soon: “The thefts of dignity and valuables from passengers’ persons and belongings has now been traced to TSA Al Queda ISIS 19 armed with box cutters terrorists “Illegals” Muslims and Mexicans. Final answer. Muslims and Mexicans.”

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • WestCoastHwy

    Only in Mexico can you not distinguish the difference between Government and Criminal Organizations. Well, at least I’m not smuggling under Official Discretion.

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    “Customs offices at the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa have been infiltrated by drug cartels”

    Maybe we should look for ANY part of the government of Mexico that HAS NOT been infiltrated by drug cartels.

    We might be looking for a very, very long time.