A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy has reported more than 11,500 Border Crossing Cards (BCCs) were stolen on June 7.
Those involved in the hijacking of the courier truck carrying the cards chose the day of mid-term elections to carry out the heist. That was the one day in Mexico when security forces were distracted protecting polls.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said the stolen cards were personalized U.S. visas bound for American consulates in Guadalajara and Monterrey. The U.S. Embassy said their Bureau of Consular Affairs has entered electronic lookouts for the stolen visas in hopes of preventing them from being used at any U.S.-Mexico border. Interpol has also been made aware of the stolen BCCs.
Reforma, a Mexican daily newspaper based out of Mexico City, identified the heisted truck as belonging to the global carrier DHL Express. They reported the truck vanishing in Matamoros, a city on the southern side of the Rio Grande across the border from Texas.
An embassy spokesperson said new cards have since been reissued and are in transit to their Mexican applicants. “Some should have already been delivered but I do not have any information about how many have been received,” said the spokesperson.
The embassy declined to say if additional security measures were taken when transporting the new batch of BCCs into Mexico.
BCCs are laminated cards the size of a credit card with enhanced graphics and embedded technology, issued to qualified Mexican citizens for personal and business travel to the United States.
None of the stolen visas have been recovered.