Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams says more than 100 stolen vehicles have been identified in a complex scheme.
Spokesman Mike Tucker says vehicles were allegedly stolen in Quebec, driven to Alberta “legitimized” with fake vehicle identification numbers, registration and dealer tags before being taken back to Quebec where they were re-registered before being sold to “friends and associates.”
While the vehicles were registered in registry offices in Edmonton, Tucker says they don’t believe there was any corruption or co-operation in those offices.
Tucker says most of the vehicles stayed in Canada but some were sent overseas.
Several vehicles were shipped to Ghana, South Africa and two were intercepted on their way to Costa Rica.
“This is done using very high quality fraudulent documents and VIN numbers,” Tucker said. “Our investigator described that no one would have any information otherwise that these were stolen vehicles.”
The investigation started in November 2012 and involved ALERT, Special Investigations Unit of Service Alberta, RCMP Montreal National Port Enforcement Team, Insurance Bureau Canada, Terrebonne Police Service, Surete du Quebec, Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec and the Edmonton Police Service.
Several suspects have been identified, but Tucker didn’t want to comment on any possible charges.
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