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).
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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.

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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 ?.

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