Organized crime group targets high-end Victoria vehicles, ships them to Africa
RCMP Investigator Maxime Deschenes looks at a stolen Lexus that was seized from a container in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019 8:43AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 12, 2019 9:48AM PDT
An organized crime group targeting high-end vehicles in cities across Canada has surfaced in Victoria.
The group fraudulently purchases high-end vehicles using false identities and credit cards, and then ships the vehicles overseas using a global shipping company, according to Victoria Police Chief Del Manak.
"They are being shipped to Africa, including the Republic of Congo, and Senegal," Manak told Victoria council during a meeting on March 7..
It’s unclear what types of cars have been targeted but police says they are investigating frauds of vehicles worth more than $60,000.
Similar thefts have occurred in major cities across Canada.
The first Victoria investigation began in August 2018 when a local car dealership reported that a vehicle had been fraudulently obtained.
Working alongside federal partners, Victoria police were able to locate the vehicle in Senegal. The department continues to work with the RCMP and Senegal Police to get the vehicle returned.
It’s unclear how many vehicles have been shipped overseas from Victoria but Manak says police have recovered a couple of the vehicles involved.
Victoria police have not released any other details.