Interpol busts Jews smuggling stolen luxury cars to I$raHell

Flipping out the vehicle identification numbers and forging documents, an international network imported stolen luxury cars from Europe to Israel by way of the Haifa port in recent months, the Coastal District Police said on Tuesday.
The suspects include a Haifa port worker and two employees of a company that works with the customs authority at the port, police said.
Altogether on Tuesday, police arrested 20 suspects believed to be involved in running the network, following a collaborative investigation between agents from the Tax Authority’s “Yahalom” unit and detectives from the Coastal District’s special investigative unit.
The suspects worked with accomplices in a number of countries in northern and western Europe that moved stolen cars into ships bound for the Haifa port, after which they would be taken and sold in Israel with counterfeit documents. Police said so far they know of 10 vehicles sold this way, all of them luxury cars, mainly BMW and Mercedes-Benz, worth around NIS 500,000 each.
Police said that the men arrested Tuesday are not organized crime figures or suspected of being well-connected in the underworld, rather that most of them are Israeli professionals who would purchase the cars from middle-men at below market value. Police said they are now trying to examine the extent of the business, if there are more cars brought in with this method and where they ended up in Israel. They did say that the middle-men abroad are Israelis living in Europe, and that the investigation has been carried out for the past few months with the full collaboration of Interpol.
At the moment police plan to bring four central suspects to remand extensions, while the rest will be released pending charges.
During a tour of their facilities at the Haifa Port in July, customs authorities described how every shipping container entering the country is profiled in order to determine its level of risk, and that out of the ten percent that are scanned, about a third contain some sort of illegal contraband.
Customs officials also said that since the Egypt border fence went up last year and with greater turmoil in bordering Syria and Lebanon they have seen smugglers try other ways to smuggle contraband into Israel, including by way of the ports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *