Many modern cars stolen in the Netherlands are shipped to West Africa, especially Ghana. Other stolen SUVs go to Germany and Poland, where they are completely stripped in a short time. Stolen cars can be found worldwide via digital tracking systems. That’s what Het Parool writes.
According to the Amsterdam newspaper, the tracking systems show that Ghana is the destination where the stolen cars end up. The cars are then simply given a new life in or via the capital Accra. Because the West African country does not care about car theft, criminal organizations are taking advantage of the laxity of the Ghanaian government to combat the trade in stolen cars, leaving the streets of Ghana littered with stolen Western cars.
A flood of cars also ends up in Ghana from Canada and the United States. The American FBI is trying to help the Ghanaian government trace stolen cars, but the regions around the capital Accra and the commercial city of Kumasi (Ghana’s second city) are teeming with car dealers dealing in stolen cars, such as the all-terrain vehicles and SUVs popular among car thieves. but also all kinds of other cars. Cars stolen in the Netherlands are popular because they are often well maintained and have suffered little damage due to the excellent Dutch road network.
Modern cars stolen in the Netherlands can often be accurately traced via the Digitpol tracking system. Cars are equipped with electronics or beacons that report their location. The tracking system would show that many cars in Ghana are purchased by private individuals. West African countries such as Togo and Burkina Faso are also often a final destination for cars stolen in the Netherlands. Although it concerns a small number of stolen vehicles, experts say there is a tight organization behind it.
Although many stolen off-road vehicles are shipped to West Africa to be sold there, the situation is different for most stolen cars that remain within Europe. A car that is stolen at night in the Netherlands is often driven directly across the border and ultimately ends up in Germany or Poland. The car will be completely stripped there in no time, after which the parts will be sold.
While car thieves used to use mechanical tools to break open cars, nowadays this is mainly done using digital means. The car thief often uses a special device to break into the car’s digital network, the can-bus (controller area network). The special device sends the same signals to the car as the key would and the car responds by opening and starting.
Another method is the so-called relay attack. The radio signal from the car key is received, after which it is then amplified and the car can be opened and started with a second device.
The Vehicle Crime Insurance Agency Foundation (VbV) has registered almost 6,000 stolen passenger cars in the Netherlands this year, two-thirds of which are still missing. Cars are not only stolen to sell to private individuals or to strip parts, but also in drug trafficking, ram and robbery attacks or as a getaway car during crimes.
Europol: car thieves carried out large-scale transport to West Africa
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