Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Thieves nab gold, silver, electronics in massive container robbery in Colima

A group of at least 12 armed men stole gold, silver, zinc and televisions in a large and audacious heist in the port area of Manzanillo, Colima, earlier this month.

Citing official investigations, the newspaper Reforma reported that a group of 12 to 15 armed men arrived at the premises of the freight company Maniobras Alonso Mireles (MAM) in the early hours of June 5. The men overpowered a security guard before locking him and other employees in a shed, according to National Guard sources.

They then broke into some 50 shipping containers and inspected their contents before loading 20 containers onto trucks and removing them from the MAM premises, located in the Tapeixtles industrial area of Manzanillo. The containers, loaded onto trucks using the company’s machinery, contained gold, silver and zinc in bulk as well as televisions. The total value of the stolen goods, which were reportedly transported to an unspecified nearby location, is unclear.

The robbery – considered the largest ever in the Manzanillo port area – took eight to 10 hours to complete, as not all 20 containers were removed at once. MAM staff didn’t notify local authorities until approximately 10 a.m., by which time the men had completed their heist. Colima and federal authorities are reviewing video footage of the crime. The army, navy and National Guard have searched for the stolen 40-foot containers but haven’t managed to locate them. No arrests have been reported.

The navy, which is responsible for security at the Manzanillo port, stressed that the crime occurred on private property and not in the port precinct under its control. “The protection and security of goods in these … premises is the responsibility of the personnel of that place,” it said in a statement.

Shipping containers are transported to and from the Manzanillo port area at all hours of day and night, circumstances that apparently allowed the armed men to commit their crime without arousing suspicion. The Pacific coast port is Mexico’s busiest, handling a record 3.37 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in 2021.

With reports from Reforma 

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