US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Seizes Mercedes Benz Set to Sail Overseas

Release Date: 
March 3, 2015

Stolen vehicle featured altered ID number

HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Galveston seaport seized a stolen 2012 Mercedes-Benz set to be exported, Feb. 27.                                                 

CBP officers at the Port of Galveston noticed that the car’s vehicle identification number affixed on the door appeared to have been altered and that it didn’t match the authentic VIN associated with the black 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350.

CBP officers intercept this stolen Mercedes Benz before it is exported.

CBP officers intercept this stolen Mercedes Benz before it is exported.

CBP officers determined that the luxury car, valued at more than $37,000, was listed as having been stolen from New Jersey and was slated for export.

“We work with various federal, state and local law enforcement authorities to ensure unauthorized exports are not allowed to leave the country,” said CBP Port Director Dave Fluty. “CBP is the last line of defense in the export control process, and we do use our authority to ensure we inspect, search, detain and seize goods being exported illegally or without proper authorization.”

CBP officers turned over the stolen vehicle to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. 

In a separate incident, CBP officers identified a 1990 M923 A2 military truck that was disassembled in a container set for export.  The military truck was seized because a license is required to export the vehicle even though it was not assembled.

The seized military truck, valued at more than $5,000 was turned over to CBP’s seized property specialists who will determine the appropriate disposition of the truck.

More information regarding exporting vehicles is available.  CBP also offers information regarding importing a vehicle.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017