PortandTerminal.com, March 14, 2019
Every seven minutes, a car is stolen in Canada. The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s estimates that auto thefts cost $1 billion across Canada per year.
While some of the tens of thousands of vehicles stolen in Canada are taken for quick joyrides or sent to local “chop shops,” many are smuggled abroad in shipping containers by organized crime groups to foreign destinations, including China, West Africa and the Middle East.
Auto theft is on the rise in Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which works with authorities to help identify stolen vehicles at the ports of Montreal and Halifax. About half the of the stolen cars recovered in Canada last year were found at these two ports.
Nigeria’s “Black Axe” gang behind many car thefts in Toronto
The elusive Black Axe Gang, feared in Nigeria for its brutality, has been exerting “undue influence over the Nigerian diaspora” in Canada, as well as engaging in organized crime and violence, police said. In 2015, Toronto police laid 640 charges and arrested 18 people allegedly involved in the theft of over 500 SUVs in that city.
These weren’t “just thieves,” investigators said, but a highly sophisticated crime ring linked to the Black Axe that placed its people in shipping companies and at a government agency.
The organized crime rings involved in car theft are especially bad in Toronto, where auto thefts are up 30 per cent in 2018, according to Toronto police data.
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