According to German police, investigators busted a well-organized gang of high-end car thieves and even discovered an illegal cigarette factory. A large number of the vehicles ended up in Dubai.
According to police in Germany, more than a dozen people are being investigated on suspicion of stealing and smuggling cars.
In the Netherlands, a 66-year-old man suspected of being one of the leaders was apprehended. In Lithuania, another suspect was arrested and detained. Both men are expected to be extradited to Germany in the near future.
During a search in the Netherlands, investigators “accidentally discovered” an illegal cigarette factory and about 1.5 million cigarettes. The case is being investigated by the Dutch police. In Lithuania, a search yielded around €400,000 ($454,000) in cash and dozens of forged vehicle documents.
The gang stole dozens of automobiles, the majority of which came from Germany. A special edition AMG Mercedes GT R worth around €230,000, a Porsche Carrera 4 GTS worth €130,000, and other high-end vehicles were among the vehicles on display.
The gang allegedly stole cars worth €2.5 million, according to police.
The suspects’ smuggling operation was run “very professionally,” according to the authorities. The cars would be stolen across Germany and transported to the Netherlands, where the gang members would alter the vehicle identification numbers and match them to forged documents. Some of the cars would be sold in Germany, while others would be smuggled out of Europe via Rotterdam. According to police, many of the cars were shipped to Dubai.
The bust, according to police spokesman Marco Ellermann, was a “great success” that “will undoubtedly be talked about in the world of organized crime.”