Over $1 million in stolen vehicles recovered and 7 charged
TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, after months of investigative work, police announced seven people have been arrested and over $1 million in stolen automobiles have been recovered after a joint forces project into an auto theft ring operating in Durham Region, York Region and Toronto.
In recent months, investigators from Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) identified and seized in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), a number of stolen vehicles from containers at the ports of Montreal and Halifax and assisted police in the investigation.
According to police, the alleged crime ring included an informal collection of thieves who stole the cars, a licensed car dealer who fraudulently obtained Ministry of Transportation documents, a person who changed the Vehicle Information Number (VIN) on the vehicles to mask their identity and an exporter who shipped the stolen vehicles from Canada to be sold in West Africa. The stolen vehicles would be sealed in steel sea containers in the GTA and shipped to Africa via the Ports of Halifax and Montreal.
"These arrests are further evidence that organized auto theft and insurance fraud is a real problem in Ontario," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "When fraudsters cheat the system, honest policyholders end up paying in the form of higher premiums."
Insurance fraud and auto theft is big business in Ontario. According to KPMG estimates for the Ontario anti-fraud task force, the amount of insurance fraud in Ontario is as much as $1.6 billion a year. In 2014, IBC and CBSA seized over $8 million in stolen vehicles intended for export.
"We all have a responsibility to understand how fraud and organized auto theft works against the interests of consumers and to root it out," added Dubin.
For more information on insurance crime, visit www.ibc.ca or call 1-877-IBC-TIPS to submit a confidential tip or contact Crimestoppers.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the P&C insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada
For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (daytime), 647-384-9872 (after hours), [email protected]