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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.