The head of a cargo truck transportation union in Callao, Peru called for increased security in the city to combat the high rate of cargo theft plaguing the industry. According to the union leader, an average of 124 cargo trucks in Callao suffer from either hijackings or “skating,” the theft of goods from in-transit vehicles, per month. The union leader indicated that while thefts have decreased in the Port of Callao, incidents of theft are increasing in neighboring areas including San Martin de Porres. Roads leading to and from the port, including Manco Capac, Atalaya, Contralmirante Mora, and Nestor Gambetta Avenue, are hotspots for theft incidents, which tend to be more violent at night.
Thieves operating in the area frequently brandish firearms, are capable of blocking GPS tracking devices, and typically use electric saws to cut into containers. Thieves also target cargo trucks that are forced to drive slowly in traffic congestion, and drivers report that the lack of adjoining avenues on the above roads prevents drivers from escaping in-progress thefts. The union leader also alleged that corrupt port workers and customs officers are colluding with cargo theft gangs and are providing details on the arrival and transportation schedules of high-value shipments.