Mexico arrests mayor of town plagued by pipeline fuel thefts

By The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors in Mexico have arrested the mayor of a town plagued by thieves who drill into state-run pipelines to steal gasoline and diesel.

 

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Mexico have arrested the mayor of a town plagued by thieves who drill into state-run pipelines to steal gasoline and diesel.

The prosecutors' office said Wednesday that Mayor Pablo Morales Ugalde was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Morales Ugalde is mayor of Palmar del Bravo, one of a string of towns in central Puebla state dominated by fuel thieves. He is charged with laundering illegally obtained funds, but the office did not specify if they were the proceeds from fuel thefts.

In June, authorities closed seven gasoline stations in the area for allegedly selling gasoline and diesel stolen from pipelines.

By some estimates, thieves drill into state-run pipelines in Mexico about 20 times a day. The thieves have attacked military and police patrols.

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