2009 Auto Theft Export Summit showcases leading experts in the fight against Auto theft for export:

    Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson speaking tomorrow

    OTTAWA, May 6 /CNW/ - Officials from across North America have gathered
in Ottawa this week to attend the 2009 Auto Theft Export Summit, the 13th
annual meeting of the North American Export Committee (NAEC). The two-day
event allows law enforcement, government and other stakeholders to strengthen
alliances and share valuable information and ideas to curtail auto theft for
export, which remains a staple of organized crime.
    Today, the first day of the event, leading experts discussed the problem
of theft for export, its connections to organized crime and terrorism, and
some of the innovative tactics being employed to fight the problem.
    "Organized auto theft is big business in North America and on the rise,"
said Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of
Canada (IBC). "Organized crime gangs routinely ship stolen vehicles overseas
to fund operations, or to 'chop shops', where their parts are sold for huge
profits. This growing involvement of organized crime in auto theft is a threat
to our safety and security."
    Auto theft costs Canadians over $1 billion each year, including police,
court costs, medical services and other expenses. In 2007, auto theft cost
insurers $542 million, or $35 for each auto insurance policy. The number of
thefts across Canada dropped by 9% in 2007, but recovery rates also continue
to decline. Low recovery rate is a strong indicator of organized criminal
activity because it means vehicles are being exported, chopped for parts or
re-identified and sold to unsuspecting consumers.
    Today, delegates heard from Scott Newark, Port Security Consultant and
former advisor to Minister Stockwell Day. Said Newark, "This conference has
been an important showcase in the fight against organized auto theft and in
better securing our sea ports."
    Jeanne Flemming, Director of FINTRAC, also addressed the summit. "As
FINTRAC's director, I know first hand that following the money, making
connections through financial transactions can benefit police investigations
into auto theft. Knowing more about the financial transactions can provide law
enforcement real insight into their criminal operations."
    Another panel at the summit discussed the key successes of Canada's
5-month Ports Project at the ports in Montreal and Halifax. The project was an
initiative between the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, IBC and Sûreté du
Québec. It resulted in the recovery of 347 high-end vehicles worth more than
$10 million. Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that between 20,000 and
30,000 high-end stolen vehicles leave Canadian ports annually.
    To underscore the importance the Canadian government places on auto theft
crime and the involvement of organized crime, The Honourable Rob Nicholson,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Andrew Scheer, M.P.
(Regina-Qu'Appelle), will address the summit tomorrow to further expand on the
legislation combating auto theft that Minister Nicholson announced on April
    The 2009 Auto Theft Export Summit, is hosted by IBC and is being held at
The Westin Ottawa, Confederation III, May 5 - 7, 2009.

    The North American Export Committee was established in 1995 by
representatives from Canada and the United States to explore ways of improving
export reporting, analysis and interdiction methods. Mexico has since become a
member. NAEC's objective is to develop an export program based on best
practices that can be implemented by all North American ports. Model
provisions include: electronic reporting of all exported vehicles; timely,
efficient response to trouble messages; enforcement; and non-intrusive
container scanning.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member
companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians,
pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal
governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion. To view news
releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at

For further information:

For further information: Ellen Woodger at (416) 483-2358 or James
Geuzebroek at (416) 362-2031 x4364

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