Mexico says it is cracking down on piracy in Gulf

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican Navy said Tuesday it is cracking down on piracy in the Gulf of Mexico that has included attacks on ships and oil platforms.

Mexico was stung by a U.S. State Department travel advisory on June 17 about “armed criminal groups” in the Gulf.

The Navy said it has assigned 15 ships, 24 smaller patrol boats and five aircraft to police the southern Gulf, where most of the country’s offshore oil wells are located. Thieves travelling in boats have been known to rob vessels and oil platforms of equipment and workers’ possessions, while larger ships allegedly transport stolen fuel.

The Navy said it had seized three ships and one boat and detained 13 people during the operation. It did not say what offenses they were accused of. but the Navy also said it had escorted 34 boats to shore after detecting "administrative violations."

A June 17 travel advisory posted by the U.S. State Department said, “Armed criminal groups have been known to target and rob commercial vessels, oil platforms, and offshore supply vessels in the Bay of Campeche.”

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