Possibly as many as 1,000 victims of car theft con gang

The Federal Judicial Authorities believe that as many as 1,000 people could have been victims of a gang that used confidence tricks to steal cars that had been advertised online. Around 250 properties have been searched so far as part of the investigation. The searches have led to property being confiscated and a series of arrests.     

Three weeks ago the largest police operation in Belgium in 2 decades got under way into a gang of car thieves.  The gang responded to online advertisement placed by people selling cars.

They pretended to be interested in buying the car and said they had payed via a bank app. One of the gang members sent a “proof of payment” to the vendor. However, this later was found to be fals. The gang was active across Europe. Currently it is known that 91 caravans and 150 cars, including Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys and a tow truck have been stolen by the gang. Police also found illegal  weapons, designer watches and 1.5 million euro in cash at the premises. The Judicial Authorities has also confiscated 34 buildings that belong to members of the gang.        

Currently, 42 people have been charged and 33 have been remanded in custody. Among those detained are a notary, three police officers, garage-owners and car wash proprietors. Also detained were an insurance broker, someone that knows how to disable GPS tracking, and even someone that works for the vehicle registration service.   

Together they were able to ensure that the vehicles could be sold on easily.

The various people detained are accused of a number of crimes ranging from theft to the illegal use of databases.  

The gang made around 6.5 million euro from its illegal activities. The investigation is still on-going.

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