Twenty containers, some with gold and silver, have been stolen from the port of the city of Manzanillo in western Mexico – an “unusual” and “very serious” criminal operation, according to yesterday’s authorities, AFP reported.
The criminal operation, dubbed “the theft of the century” in some media, took place on June 5th on a private plot of land off Mexico’s main trading port on the Pacific coast, but no information was leaked until two days ago, the agency said.
Official sources describe a spectacular picture. Heavily armed attackers, numbering at least 12, have neutralized the port’s security. The criminals then used cranes and trucks to load the containers for 8-10 hours, Gustavo Adrian Hoya, a security spokesman for the state of Colima, where the port is located, told reporters.
“The stolen goods were selected very demandingly – precious metals and other things, such as air conditioners,” he added. In addition to gold and silver, the bandits seized zinc and TVs, reports mexiconewsdaily.com.
The robbery took place within 8 to 10 hours, as not all containers were removed at the same time.
“This is unusual. There have been thefts of containers from time to time, but not in such quantities,” the spokesman added.
Mexican customs chief Horacio Duarte Olivares called the incident a “very serious organized crime operation” and said an investigation had been launched. He also informed the prosecutor’s office about the investigation, but refused to give details about the amount of stolen gold and silver.