Millions of dollars in stolen cars from Toronto somehow turned up in Malta
Sixty-four vehicles that were stolen from residential driveways across the GTA somehow turned up in Southern Europe, according to a press release issued by York Regional Police on Friday.
The York Regional Police Auto Cargo Theft Unit recovered dozens of vehicles valued at a total of $3.5 million in the Republic of Malta, and have since returned them back to Canada as part of Project Majestic.
Working alongside several other partners such as the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), investigators tracked down the stolen vehicles, which were located inside shipping containers and ready to be sold illegally.
In 2021, investigatiors identified a criminal syndicate responsible for stealing high-end vehicles, including Lexus, Toyota and Honda sport utility vehicles from driveways across the GTA.
The suspects would enter the vehicles and reprogram ignition computers, allowing them to be driven away with a new key.
The vehicles were then driven to the Port of Montreal or loaded into shipping containers in Toronto and transported to Montreal by rail. Containers were finally loaded onto ships and delivered to buyers in Africa and the UAE.
Between March 2021 and December 2022, more than 70 vehicles were seized, with a value of more than $4.5 million, in addition to the recently recovered vehicles in Malta. This brings the total number of recovered vehicles to more than 130, valued at $8 million.
Eighteen people have since been charged with more than 170 offences, including Conspiracy, Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crimes, and Theft of a Motor Vehicle.
York Regional Police
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