Have you ever seen those videos of gangs tapping into petroleum lines and filling up barrels?
Criminal Gangs near Mexico have repeatedly targeted Petroleos Mexicano, a state-owned petroleum company, and have been doing so for many years. However, it has recently resulted in $3 billion worth of gas stolen by these gangs.
It may seem like a tough thing to do, but the gangs simply drill into the pipes and leak tons of gas into their barrels. Because corruption is also rampant in Mexico, many workers in the company also partake in the schemes.
The gangs that acquire the stolen gas sell it way below market price for cash, largely because it is the simplest, untraceable method to get money for the gas.
The current elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, made fixing this oil problem one of his main platforms. He has since taken many measures like transporting fuel in trucks and cars to hopefully curb the oil stealing gangs, but it results in 10x the price.
This did not deter gangs from stealing gas as much as he had hoped, so he also plans on implementing a ban on using cash to purchase gas. He plans on replacing cash with a mobile scannable QR code.
This sounds like a great solution, but more than half of the Mexican population do not own bank accounts, making electronic transfers impossible.
So for now, cash is still king and more solutions need to be created in hopes to curb the gas gangs.