OGDENSBURG, N.Y. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Ogdensburg Port of Entry intercepted a stolen vehicle in a shipment of used Canadian vehicles destined for West Africa.
A CBP officer noticed a high-value vehicle that seemed to stand out in a shipment of used Canadian vehicles shipped in-bond, and destined for the city of Cotonou, in the small West African nation of Benin. Further inspection of the 2017 Acura’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through CBP databases resulted in interest from Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (Quebec DMV).
CBP worked with Quebec DMV and New York State DMV investigators and discovered the VIN displayed was fraudulent. The vehicle matching the car's actual VIN had been reported stolen in Montreal on June 6, 2017.
The actual VIN numbers of the vehicle, found in several other places in the car, matched the vehicle stolen from Montreal. CBP officers at Ogdensburg seized the vehicle and returned it to Canada Border Services Agency in Prescott, Ontario.
“Vehicle theft is a serious crime. CBP will continue to work with our state, federal and Canadian partners to intercept stolen vehicles before vehicles are smuggled out of the United States,” said CBP Area Port Director Tim Walker.
The Port of Ogdensburg clears approximately 38,000 commercial trucks a year and more than 500,000 cars. “Trade compliance inspections remain one of many CBP enforcement priorities in the Port of Ogdensburg,” said Port Director Thomas Trimboli at the Port of Ogdensburg. "This was a fine example of enforcement work by our officers, and cross-border collaboration with our Canadian counterparts."