Miami - U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Miami seaport recently surpassed the $1 million milestone in total vehicle seizures since the beginning of the 2010 fiscal year. The Miami Seaport Vehicle Export Team inspects and investigates the origin and destination of vehicles that are to be exported.
Since October 2009, CBP officers have seized 61 vehicles that were stolen or had fraudulent paperwork and if not for the officers, the vehicles would be in other countries.
"Our officers are experts in identifying alterations that may have been done to a vehicle in order to mask its true origin. The team reviews documentation and checks the vehicle identification numbers before releasing them for export," said the CBP team supervisor.
"CBP is actively working with our law enforcement partners at our seaports to ensure that stolen merchandise is intercepted and returned to its rightful owners. Our commitment to protecting America's borders is one that encompasses both inbound and outbound inspections," said Greg McCann, acting director of field operations in Miami.
Most of the vehicles were destined for the Caribbean, South and Central America. Among the vehicles are heavy equipment trucks, SUVs, All Terrain Vehicles and motorcycles.
The seized vehicles are turned over to the Miami-Dade County Auto Theft Task Force who then continue with the investigation to determine who the rightful owner is.
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.