Seaport Border Patrol Recovers 23 Stolen High-End Vehicles Slated For Shipment To China
Photo: stolen vehicle intercepted
LONG BEACH/L.A. SEAPORT – An outreach operation revealed 23 stolen luxury vehicles heading to China. The global black market for luxury brands and vintage vehicles has created significant opportunity for crime.
Outbound Enforcement Officers (OET) recovered 11 Mercedez-Benz GLS 450s and 12 Land Rover Range Rovers ready for exportation. U.S. Customs Border Protections Officers (CBP) conducted an outreach operation at two major Southern California vehicle export facilities.
The sting happened on Halloween, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The total value of the vehicles is nearly $1.9 million.
Officials reported, “NICB verified the compiled list of the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)s with the financial institutions. Then CHP initiated the C180 stolen report as (they discovered) liens/loans unsatisfied by the financial institution on all these vehicles.”
Authorities process 700 to 1,200 vehicles daily for exportation, and the vast majority comply with federal and state regulations.
In fiscal year 2018, CBP at L.A./Long Beach Seaport has seized 66 vehicles heading overseas totaling $4.3 million –
- 40 stolen vehicles;
- 11 had odometer rollback;
- five undervalued;
- six had fraudulent documents;
- one concealed weapons/arms;
- and three were unlicensed/military vehicles.
CBP processed the vehicles individually and turned them over to state authorities for further investigation and return to their rightful owners.
“This significant recovery attests to CBP officers’ vigilance, commitment and expertise in effectively enforcing export fraud laws in close collaboration with our long-standing state and industry partners,” said Carlos C. Martel CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “By defrauding vehicle dealerships, financial and insurance companies, international thieves negatively impact the economy and consequently the American consumer.”