How Canadian Cars Are Stolen And Sold Overseas

Discover why Canada has become a surprising hotspot for car thefts, ranking among the top 10 countries globally according to Interpol. Since integrating its stolen vehicle data with Interpol in February 2024, Canada has detected over 1,500 stolen cars worldwide, highlighting a growing problem. The rise in thefts is fueled by a pandemic-induced car shortage and a lucrative international market for certain models, making them attractive to organized crime. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has declared it a national crisis, with insurers paying out over C$1.5 billion in claims last year alone. Canadians are responding with heightened security measures, while businesses like Nauman Khan’s bollard installation service are booming due to increased demand for protection against theft.

How Canadian Cars Are Stolen And Sold Overseas 1

Canada was listed by Interpol as one of the top 10 most car-theft-prone nations this summer out of 137, which the BBC called a “remarkable” accomplishment considering Canada’s data integration with Interpol only started in February.

Following their theft, the cars are “shipped overseas to be resold, sold domestically to other unsuspecting Canadians, or used to carry out other violent crimes,” reports BBC.

Over 1,500 stolen Canadian vehicles have been found worldwide since INTERPOL’s database was integrated with the Canadian Police Information Center’s stolen vehicle data in February 2024, according to a May report from Interpol.

Currently, the RCMP database, which keeps track of about 150,000 stolen cars, assists in the weekly identification of about 200 stolen cars, mostly at ports of entry into other countries.

According to the BBC, after insurers paid out more than C$1.5 billion in claims related to vehicle theft last year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada pronounced auto theft to be a “national crisis.” Public safety alerts on preventing theft have been released by the police, and some Canadians are installing trackers and personal protection devices like retractable bollards.

Nauman Khan, a Mississauga homeowner who began a bollard installation company after being the victim of theft, says there is a lot of demand for his services because car thefts are so common.

He told the BBC: “It’s been very busy. We had one client whose street had so many home invasions that he’d hired a security guard every night outside his house because he just didn’t feel safe.”

Canada has a car theft rate of 262.5 per 100,000, which is close to the US average of 300 per 100,000, and higher than that of England and Wales (220 per 100,000), although having a lower population. A pandemic-related car scarcity and a robust global market for certain models are contributing factors to the growth in thefts, which makes auto theft profitable for organized crime. A further factor contributing to the issue is Canada’s port system, which prioritizes imports over exports.

Jürgen Stock, the secretary general of INTERPOL, stated in a press statement that “stolen vehicles are international criminal currency.” In addition to being utilized for drug trafficking, they also serve as payment to other criminal networks and support terrorist and human trafficking operations.

“Sometimes overlooked, a stolen car is not just car theft. It is part of a major revenue stream for transnational organized crime. Through increased data sharing at the global level, we can better screen vehicles at border points, identify trafficking routes, and arrest the perpetrators.”

Recently reported by GreatGameIndia, according to data from The National Insurance Crime Bureau, Kia, and Hyundai top the list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in America.

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