Fuel theft has been a significant part of organized crime for decades in Mexico and this operation was a result of various anonymous complaints about criminal groups siphoning off hydrocarbons from pipelines in the area, authorities said in a joint statement.

Specifically, on 11 September, officials found a clandestine tap on pipelines near the city of Cardenas, Tabasco, the statement reads according to Reuters. Then, officials tracked down a warehouse near a highway with 16 storage tanks and five trucks that authorities said were used to store and transport the stolen resources.

Several days later, officials located the vessel, 'Blue Commander', docked in the Pajaritos Lagoon in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and people loading hydrocarbon from the trucks onto the vessel.

Mexican authorities arrested 21 people and confiscated the Blue Commander.