“Red Flag” Prompts FEAR Team Scrutiny
LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Los Angeles/Long Beach (LA/LB) Seaport complex intercepted and seized a red 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi, destined to Poland, on April 8. It was stolen 28 years ago, has 45K miles and an estimated value of $50K.
Falsely manifested as a “1982 Ferrari”, analysis of its purported vehicle identification number (VIN) revealed that the VIN was previously used for a 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS exported in 2005, from the U.S. to Norway via Germany.
“This VIN discrepancy is what ‘raised a red flag’ and prompted further scrutiny. Such keen attention to details by CBP officers is commendable, especially considering they process a daily average of 500 vehicles intended for export,” said CBP LA/LB Seaport Port Director Carlos Martel.
In partnership with the California Highway Patrol-Investigative Services Unit Investigator and National Insurance Crime Bureau Special Agent assigned to the Foreign Export and Recovery (FEAR) Outbound Team, a Ferrari factory expert assisted with identifying the 1981 Ferrari. In actuality, this Ferrari’s original VIN was changed to that of the previously exported car’s VIN.
Its real VIN led to a police report showing that this Ferrari was stolen from a car consignment lot in Orange County, Calif., on July 19, 1987. The owner was compensated by his insurance company back then and wishes to remain anonymous.
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.