Unlock Premium Data: Up to 50% Off InvestingProCLAIM SALE

Colombia cops seize 7.3 million gallons of crude in raids on illegal refineries

Published 19/03/2024, 01:48 am

By Oliver Griffin

BOGOTA (Reuters) -Colombian police have seized more than seven million gallons of crude oil in raids on illegal refineries, in an operation targeting production of bootleg fuel in Norte de Santander (BME:SAN) province, the police said in a statement on Monday.

The fuel is refined from crude oil stolen from pipelines by criminal gangs and is a key ingredient in cocaine production. It can also be mixed with gasoline or diesel and used to run machinery at illegal mining operations, police say.

"The national police are committed to safeguarding nature, understanding it's an invaluable resource for society, and the fight against organized crime," Colonel William Castano, director of Colombia's rural Carabineros police force, said in the statement.

The operation took place in Tibu, an area in Norte de Santander close to Colombia's border with Venezuela.

Police also took control of 13 pools used for storing hydrocarbons; seized five makeshift refineries, 17 pieces of refining equipment and 4,250 gallons of refined hydrocarbons, the statement added.

The production of the bootleg fuel - known as pategrillo, or cricket's foot, due to its greenish hue - is a major problem in Colombia, where thousands of barrels of oil are stolen each day.

Reuters visited illegal refineries in Colombia's Pacific region in 2022. At the time, Castano said such refineries contaminate an average of three square kilometers of the surrounding environment, citing a police estimate.

Reuters was unable to determine on what that estimate was based.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.