Nineteen persons have been charged with participation in an international car theft ring that exported stolen vehicles through the Port of New York and New Jersey to various countries, primarily in West Africa.
Eleven of the 19 were arrested Wednesday by federal and state law enforcement agents. A 12th defendant was already in state prison on unrelated charges. The others remain at large.
“We have dismantled a sophisticated organization that was responsible for the theft and export of stolen vehicles,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in Newark. “The defendants we arrested are charged with participating in an elaborate scheme to ship stolen cars to overseas buyers.”
The investigation resulted in the recovery of more than 200 vehicles with an estimated retail value of $6 million.