Mexico City, Mexico — An investigation has begun into the theft of military equipment for sale to criminal organizations. The Secretary of the Navy of Mexico has confirmed the sale of the country’s military equipment online, equipment that is being purchased by some criminal groups.
In a press conference, Admiral Rafael Ojeda Durán said they have found Mexico’s military gear for sale online, adding that some of the gear has been knowingly sold to organized crime groups.
“We have detected within our institution elements that have stolen gear, especially uniforms, and sold them to organized crime groups, but fortunately, our counterintelligence has detected them and we have discharged them.
“Putting them in jail is very difficult for legal reasons,” he said, adding that those found guilty have been removed from the institution.
The Secretary of the Navy confirmed that Mexican military equipment such as weapons, helmets and vests have also been found for sale on the internet.
Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the Secretary of National Defense, pointed out that there is a facility for organized crime to acquire weapons, vests and other military equipment.
“Currently, there are many places where tactical equipment is sold, from knee protection, elbow protection, back protection, everything that at some point, military or naval personnel need but can also be used by organized crime members. These things are found for sale in many stores,” he explained.
He said that the tactical equipment purchased online by drug traffickers is of poor quality. “It exists, but not with the same characteristics as those of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy,” he said.
The use of military equipment such as bullet proof vests by criminal organizations has sky-rocked over the years, as has their subsequent confiscation by authorities, he added.
Sandoval says a majority of military equipment used by criminal organizations are confiscated in states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán, Tamaulipas and Jalisco.