BALTIMORE—A car, on its way to Lagos, Nigeria, made a U-turn after Baltimore Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers learned it had been purchased over the internet with a stolen credit card and is on its way back to Minnesota.
Coon Rapids, Minn., Police Department notified CBP January 31 of the vehicle purchase and that their investigation revealed that the 2007 Toyota Camry was en route to Lagos. CBP officers contacted the agent for the M/V Grande Gabon and ordered the vehicle to be returned to CBP officers on the ship's next port call on Baltimore.
The ship and vehicle arrived Thursday. CBP confirmed the Camry to be the subject vehicle, and verified the stolen vehicle report with the Coon Rapids Police. The Camry will be returned to its rightful owner, Carlson Toyota in Coon Rapids.
"This recovery is an outstanding example of the ease with which federal and municipal law enforcement agents partner to combat crime," said Ricardo Scheller port director for the port of Baltimore. "Credit card fraud is not a victimless crime."
Coon Rapids is about 1,200 miles from Baltimore; Lagos is about 5,390 miles from Baltimore. That's about 13,100 miles round trip from Coon Rapids to Lagos and return.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international sea cargo and searches for terrorist weapons, illicit narcotics, stolen vehicles, counterfeit merchandise, prohibited agriculture products and other prohibited items.
So far during fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 to present) CBP officers in the Port of Baltimore recovered 16 stolen vehicles values at more than $470,000. During FY2012, CBP recovered 34 stolen vehicles valued at more than $816,000.
CBP will facilitate about $2 trillion in legitimate trade this year while enforcing U.S. trade laws that protect the economy, and the health and the safety of the American people. Learn more about CBP's Trade enforcement and facilitation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.