October 18, 2017 / 3:41 AM / 2 years ago

Mexico's Pemex fires warehouse workers for oil theft

Clients get fuel at a gas station of state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said on Tuesday it would rescind contracts held by several workers at a warehouse and distribution center in the central state of Guanajuato as part of a strategy to combat oil theft.

A Pemex official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that four workers were let go for links to oil theft from the center in the city of Salamanca, where Pemex also has a refinery that can process 245,000 barrels per day of crude.

In its statement, Pemex said it would file criminal complaints against the workers and investigate workers at others sites.

“Without exception, any employee linked to crime will be removed immediately,” the company said.

Mexico’s government has estimated that oil theft by criminal groups costs Pemex at least $1 billion a year.

Reporting by Christine Murray and Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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