According to a report by Insauga.com, detectives from the Regional Municipality of Peel executed a search warrant on Friday, June 9, 2023, leading to the recovery of the eight vehicles at a business location near Drew Road and Torbram Road in Mississauga.
The vehicles, estimated to be worth approximately $650,000 in total, were in the process of being shipped to Ghana.
The eight cars consist of a 2020 Mercedes GLEC, a 2021 Mercedes GBG TY, a 2021 Honda CRV, a 2020 Honda CRV, a 2021 Honda CRV, a 2020 Honda CRV, a 2020 Honda CRV, and a 2021 Honda CRV.
The report added that several of the cars have since been returned to their owners, while the police have issued a call for more information.
Ghana Is fast becoming a destination for stolen cars especially from Europe and America.
An investigation by Mariana van Zeller for the National Geographic Channel, published in April this year, exposed a sophisticated car smuggling syndicate traced to Ghana.
The investigation started in the United States of America, where the investigative journalist followed the activities of a gang involved in stealing of luxury cars.
Some of the gang members who spoke to Van Zeller explained how they carry out their activities and the structure of the international crime syndicate that sees stolen cars from the streets of America end up in third world countries like Ghana.
Van Zeller traveled to Ghana to meet some of the local players.
She met a hacker/black market trader and another person who handles the business aspect of the enterprise.
The two provided the journalist with insights into the local trade of stolen cars and how they are able to get the cars into the Ghanaian system without raising any red flags.
With import duties costing as much as 20% of the value of a car in Ghana, the hacker told Van Zeller that he can hack into the system of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to help the syndicate evade paying the required import duties.
“It is my duty to attack the Tema Harbour… We make it seem as if you’ve paid everything,” the hacker stated.
As the final destination, the Ghanaian syndicate is considered to be at the top of the international car smuggling syndicate.
Identifying himself as Ivan, a man who leads the importation and sale of stolen cars in Ghana, opened up about the gang’s operations to the journalist.
“It is possible that most of these cars are stolen. Most of the boys come here to hang out. There are top guys that are in the business now; the stolen cars business. This is how some family generations have made money,” Ivan told the journalist as they drove through areas in Accra where the nightlife is buzzing.
Overall, the investigation revealed that the Ghanaian players are at the pinnacle of the international car theft ring. They make the most money from a criminal enterprise that sees cars belonging to people in America stolen and shipped over six thousand miles away from their owners.
EOCO retrieves stolen cars from garages in Accra
In December 2022, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) retrieved thirty-seven vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United States of America (USA) and Canada.
The operation, carried out in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), was based on an intelligence-led approach.
In a press statement, EOCO stated that the vehicles were recovered from garages in Ghana on December 9, 2022, and the suspects have since been questioned and granted bail.
“The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has carried out an intelligence-led operation to retrieve various specifications of luxury vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United States of America (USA) and Canada.
“On Friday, December 9, 2022, thirty-seven (37) such vehicles were retrieved from garages in Accra, during which ten (10) persons were arrested. The suspects have since been questioned and granted bail,” the statement further added.
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