In addition to facing more than 120 assaults per month when approaching the port of Callao, truck drivers must pay 30 to 50 soles to mafia extortionists in order to work peacefully.
CEO of the Callao National Transport Union, Geovani Diez, notes that at least 400 businessmen and hundreds of truck drivers fall victim to criminal organizations based in the country’s primary port.
According to Diez such criminal operations hurt small and medium sized businesses, as they are paying up to S/ 2,000 every two weeks just to function safely – for larger business, those that feature more than 20 trailers, the charges increase significantly.
As reported by _Peru21_, “We have to fork out this money so that these individuals ‘take care of’ our trucks [that are] entering the port’s scales. Every fortnight we have to pay these sums to give us ‘security,’ otherwise we expose our lives, “said Diez.
Mafias ‘tolls’ apply to more than businesses, upwards of 5,000 truck drivers who travel through the Port of Callao’s streets daily also have to pay.
As reported by _Peru21_, “We call blocks ‘tolls’, because at every intersection we pay one or five soles, which at the end of the day make between 30 and 50 soles. If we don’t, they break the windshield, steal batteries or cut the cables of the brakes of the truck. This happens every day, ” said an anonymous truck driver.
Diez explains that these criminals are armed with knives and guns. They operate along Manco Cápac, Atalaya and Contralmirante Mora avenues.
As for the police presence, the head of the Criminal Investigation Division of Callao, Colonel Martin Andres Vicente Cueto, notes that the national police are implementing the “safe corridor” plan to protect the main trucking avenues.
As reported by _Peru21_, “On these streets [Argentina, Morales Duárez, Gambetta and Atalaya] we have found that truckers are extorted, they ask them for one to five soles to let them circulate,” said Vicente Cueto.
According to the head of the criminal investigation division police are creating special units to investigate the extortion crimes concerning truckers in Callao.
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