Norfolk, Virginia— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Norfolk Port of Entry seized two stolen cars worth over $140,000 that were destined for Mali.
The vehicles, a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE63 were destined to be shipped to Mali, were turned over to Virginia State Police Special Agents who will return the vehicles to their rightful owners.
"Part of safeguarding our nation's interests is to make sure that all exports are legitimate and lawful. “said Mark J. Laria, Area Port Director for Port of Norfolk. “We check exports for stolen goods, advanced technologies, firearms, and dual use items, among many other requirements."
The exporter originally submitted titles for two older vehicles, a 1990 Honda and a 2000 Nissan. The shipment was targeted due to the unusual export country of Mali. During the inspection on January 19, officers determined that both Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) did not match those documented on the Shippers Export Declaration and in the Automated Export System. Upon further investigation, it was determined that both VINs matched active National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) stolen vehicle records from the Sands Point Village Police Department, NY and the Connecticut State Police.
CBP officers at the Port of Norfolk routinely review exports to determine compliance with existing U.S. export laws. Norfolk CBP Officers use a variety of inspection methods and linked computer databases to locate and intercept stolen vehicles that are attempted to be exported from the United States.
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.