(posted March 5, 2:00 p.m.)- The American Chamber of Commerce is expressing alarm over a recent wave of crime in recent days, including a brazen armed assault on two trucks carrying $1 million in computer equipment belonging to the company COMTECH.
“We are very concerned by what happened to our member, COMTECH,” said AMCHAM President Yalí Molina. “We and the proprietors of the business are waiting for National Police authorities to capture—in the shortest time possible—the delinquents who perpetuated this crime last Saturday and recover the stolen goods.”
The two COMTECH trucks were assaulted around 10 p.m. on Saturday night on the Inter-American Highway 30 kilometers north of Managua. The operation appears to have been well-planned and carried out by a heavily armed gang.
According to reports, the two COMTECH trucks were assaulted by 20 men armed with AK-47s and wearing bullet-proof jackets and ski masks. The trucks were allegedly forced to the shoulder of the Inter-American highway by gun-waving bandits riding in a grey Hilux pickup truck.
The assailants jacked the trucks and tied up the drivers and customs agents riding aboard. The gagged-and-bound men were thrown in the back of the pickup truck and taken hostage, while the trucks with the computer equipment were driven away by the assailants.
The two trucks were looted and found abandoned on the side of the road, one at KM 63 of the Inter-American highway and the other on KM 28 of the highway to El Crucero.
The kidnapped men were eventually able to escape and went to police, according to press reports.
Police have not yet commented on the incident.
“This type of criminal activity is harmful to the good safety image we say our country has,” Molina said. “It hurts our member COMTECH and business in general.”
Molina says the police have the obligation to report on the results of their investigation and that AMCHAM “is confident that police will catch and process the authors of this assault.”