A commando attacked from both land and air to steal an unspecified amount of gold/silver alloy from the Los Mulatos mine in Sahuaripa, Sonora, on Wednesday.
The company Minas de Oro Nacional, a subsidiary of the Canadian firm Alamos Gold, said the attack occurred a little before 8:00 a.m. when five armed men subdued the security personnel loading the bars called doré into an airplane contracted by a security company on the mine’s airstrip.
What appeared to be a Cessna 206 aircraft landed while they subdued the guards, and the thieves loaded the bars onto their own plane.
The heist took less than 10 minutes to carry out and ended with the plane taking off into the morning sky loaded with the stolen precious metals and the commando escaping to the mountains.
The company, which said no one was hurt in the robbery, implemented security and emergency protocols and alerted the authorities.
Theft of doré bars from mining companies has been a problem in Sonora for years, but usually on the highway during transportation. This may be the first instance of thieves using a plane to carry out a robbery.
An unspecified amount of doré bars were stolen from a pair of armored trucks contracted by the Canadian mining company Penmont on a Sonora highway as recently as March 23.
A similar operation took 47 doré bars also owned by Penmont in November, the loot valued at around US $8 million at the exchange rate at the time.
Source: El Universal (sp)