Mexican military and police forces detained the suspected leader of a fuel-stealing gang, along with a live tiger in his house, weapons and drugs, authorities said. “We carried out two searches, seized firearms, drugs, radio communication equipment and an adult tiger which was supposed to be the house guardian,” Jesus Morales, Puebla’s State Public Security Secretary said Thursday May 17.
Authorities accuse the unidentified suspect of being “one of the most important leaders of a gang dedicated to fuel theft, in the town of San Martin Texmelucan, Puebla.
In the detainee’s house, around 60 miles east of Mexico City, there were also threatening messages apparently signed by the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel.
“Such messages are often left written down by drug traffickers with the bodies of their victims”, police commissioner Victor Torres Moreno told the press conference on Thursday.
Fuel theft has led to millions in losses for Mexican state-owned petroleum company Pemex, and Puebla state is a hotspot for this type of crime, with gangs sometimes colluded with Pemex employees and corrupt police officers.
As of May 2, a total of 119 police officers in San Martin Texmelucan — including the force’s director — had been dismissed on suspicion of collusion with organized crime groups.