In a significant joint operation, the Spanish National Police, French National Police, EUROPOL, and INTERPOL have successfully dismantled an active international organisation specialising in the illicit vehicle trafficking.
The operation, which spanned multiple countries, led to the recovery of more than 170 stolen cars. This operation highlights the effective collaboration and determination of law enforcement agencies to combat cross-border crimes.
Sophisticated international network uncovered
The dismantled organisation operated through discrete cells. Each cell comprised of three to four individuals, all under the command of a single leader. The leader facilitated communication through instant messaging channels. Here, prospective buyers specified the exact make and model of the vehicles they desired. The stolen cars were acquired through various methods. This included high-tech electronic devices used for on-street thefts and the fraudulent rental of vehicles with forged documents or under false identities. These vehicles were then never returned, leading to a significant loss for the owners and insurers.
Ingenious theft techniques
The criminals employed state-of-the-art electronic devices to steal vehicles in broad daylight across different European countries. Additionally, they resorted to renting cars under fake identities or the names of unsuspecting third parties. This modus operandi allowed them to continue their activities undetected for a considerable period, causing substantial financial losses and distress to the victims.
Swift and coordinated law enforcement response
Following an intensive investigation, law enforcement agencies arrested 15 individuals involved in this criminal network. In a series of 13 targeted raids, authorities seized the following;
- a multitude of tools used for vehicle theft and trafficking
- electronic control units
- 12 mobile phones
- counterfeit driving licenses
- fake license plates
- a significant amount of cash
These swift and coordinated actions put an end to the criminal activities of the organisation. Furthermore, they also ensured that the stolen vehicles were recovered promptly.
International cooperation prevails
The success of this operation underscores the importance of international cooperation in combating organised crime. Collaboration between national police forces and international organisations such as EUROPOL and INTERPOL played a pivotal role in gathering intelligence, sharing information, and executing the operation effectively. This joint effort serves as a testament to the determination of law enforcement agencies to uphold justice and safeguard communities across borders.
A warning to criminal networks
This operation sends a strong message to criminal networks engaged in cross-border activities: law enforcement agencies are vigilant, proactive, and united in their pursuit of justice. The dismantling of this sophisticated international network serves as a warning to those involved in similar illegal enterprises. Authorities across the globe are committed to eradicating organised crime and ensuring the safety and security of citizens.