Armed Gang Steals 20 Boxes of Gold Ore and Electronics in Manzanillo

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Published Jun 14, 2022 9:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Early this month, a team of armed robbers made off with 20 containers of gold and silver ore, TVs and electronics from a container storage yard in Manzanillo, according to authorities in Colima. The "historic" theft has prompted calls for better security from the merchants who use Mexico's biggest container port to handle their wares. 

According to local media, a group of 9-15 well-armed criminals entered a privately-operated container storage yard on Calle Algodones, just adjacent to the highway connecting the port to Jalipas. The district is a maze of lightly-defended storage lots - some without gates or fencing - located about one mile away from the port complex. 

On entering, the team reportedly detained and gagged the guards, then took the next 8-10 hours to find and remove exactly what they wanted - 20 shipping containers of precious metal ore and electronics. They used forklifts to hoist the containers onto chassis and had the trucking capacity to make off with the haul, according to Mexican outlet Milenio. The total value of the theft has not been released, and the perpetrators have not been caught. 

“It is unprecedented, there had been no robbery of this nature before this,” said Gustavo Adrián Joya, a spokesman Colima's state security office. 

Mexico's military took over management of the port complex's security last year, and though it has taken some criticism from merchants' associations over the theft, it does not oversee the district where the crime occurred. Joya suggested that the site was unprepared to protect cargo.

“They did not have the infrastructure that a place of this nature requires,” he told El Pais.