News / USA

US Law Enforcement Busts Car Theft, Export Ring

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gilmore Childers outlines the way the international car theft and export ring worked during a press conference in Newark, May 23, 2012. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gilmore Childers outlines the way the international car theft and export ring worked during a press conference in Newark, May 23, 2012. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Adam Phillips
NEWARK, New Jersey - Federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Newark, New Jersey have announced the breakup of a major car theft and export ring.  19 people have been charged with stealing cars in the New York and New Jersey area, and exporting them through the area's seaports for sale in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa.

Operation

Assistant United States Attorney Gilmore Childers was flanked by law enforcement officers from nearly 20 federal, state and local agencies as he announced the arrests of 11 of the 19 men and women from Africa and the United States who are charged with the theft of high end automobiles in New York and New Jersey. 

"The cars were stolen and shipped or attempted to be shipped overseas to buyers often willing to pay thousands of dollars over their market value," said Childers. "This was a very lucrative operation which is now closed for business."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton helped to oversee the multi-agency effort to put the international car theft ring out of business, May 23, 2012. (A. Phillips/VOA).U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton helped to oversee the multi-agency effort to put the international car theft ring out of business, May 23, 2012. (A. Phillips/VOA).
x
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton helped to oversee the multi-agency effort to put the international car theft ring out of business, May 23, 2012. (A. Phillips/VOA).
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton helped to oversee the multi-agency effort to put the international car theft ring out of business, May 23, 2012. (A. Phillips/VOA).
John Morton, the director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which helped to coordinate and oversee the multi-agency investigation, said that these crimes had other negative effects in terms of safety and quality of life.

"No good comes of organized auto theft," Morton declared. "It promotes crime, carjackings and robberies that no community should have to tolerate.  This case was particularly troublesome, as it involved not only widespread theft, but also repeated abuse of our export laws."

Economic impact

U.S. Attorney Childers added there are complex economic impacts to this sort of organized crime.  For example, not only are car theft victims deprived of their property, a pattern of car theft in a given area results in higher insurance premiums for the drivers who live and work there.  

"But the ripple effects don’t stop there. Frequently, the individuals who actually steal the cars off the streets of our cities and towns are gang members or associated with gangs.  Our hope is that by going after the market players, that is, the individuals involved in purchasing, reselling and exporting of stolen vehicles, we will reduce the demand for stolen vehicles," noted Childers. "At the same time we hope to impact one of the sources of income for gangs."

During an exclusive VOA interview following the formal press conference, a relaxed ICE Director John Morton said the fact that this car ring has been eviscerated represents both a local victory and an international one.

"I just love these kinds of cases when we get together with our partners.  We address a very serious problem from a local perspective - that is people getting their cars stolen from them and in many cases carjacked.  We get everybody together, we rip the organization out by its roots, and it goes all the way to Africa," said Morton. "So it's a very good result for everybody when we can come together and in short order put an end to it."

Officials say the next step will be to round up the remaining eight suspects and to arraign them and put them on trial, a process that is expected to take at least several months.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Christo Nwagwu from: Winnipeg Manitoba
May 27, 2012 4:22 AM
Mr Demola, It depends on what u're reading and what you want to hear. Perhaps u're far removed from frequent stories regarding foreign content in the ongoing palava from NNPC and monumental corruption in Nigeria ., Without overt collution corruption by lot many foreign business coporations predominantly from U.S. and Europe in the petroleum in Nigeria, we probably wont have the high rate of capital flight as much as we currently do . Tell me , what has become of Haliburton case of culpable corruption and high flying petroelum deal with cohut in Nigeria ? Have you read of recent developement in the oil subsidy mayhem and who the leaders in the unbridled wave of conspiracy to loot are ? No one will expect you to make effective contribution to problem to you which you seem far from kowledgeable . We know that when Halliburton and other giant American Petroleum merchantes come near your corridors, and u know what, Tell you what, I have been obsessed by the current wave of politically correct name and blame of Taliban and what have you . read my last name and give yourself a headshake on Talibanization of globalization conflicts including the current Boko Harem mess in Nigeria. Get more exposed by reading or getting closer to news information about current eventas as they evolve in the country and make smart contributions to these conversations . I, in way, have sympathy to people who blame their incompetency in their job perfomance on known or popular conspiracy theory ..

by: ademola omisore from: nj
May 25, 2012 1:31 PM
To:Mr christo Nwagwu (bellow),this bombing stuff u mention in order for America and England to get oil is a common poor mentallity by many guys like u.The way many people think and reason is very poor and that is why everyone cant be a leader.U think like Taliban,is it because u or any member of ur family is not capture by terrorist yet that dont let u appreciate how they sacrifice their children for ur safety,yet u dont like them.

by: Christo Nwagwu from: Winnipeg Manitoba
May 24, 2012 4:47 PM
This is the fourth time this story have made newsheadlines in U.S and Canada. The diference this time is that Russia and other Eastern Europen countries are excluded. Once beaten they say , is twice shy . I wont blame this on individuals from those targeted nations , rather it is the dummy control mechanism from the affected countries that is the porblem . These countries do not always come here to complain about the rampart rampage by their U.S citizens in culpable crimes when they colude with corrupt Nigerians to plunder the oil and gas or bribery that often milk away billions of dollars from their nations to U.S and Europe . What difference does it make when you bomd those nations into submission to collude with giant oil and other corporate giants to steal petroleum or other economic resources from these nations ?.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs