Vehicle crime can be linked to other crimes including people smuggling and terrorism.
Criminals are increasingly using the Internet to sell illicit vehicle components.
The term ‘vehicle crime’ refers to the theft and trafficking of vehicles and the illicit trade in spare parts. These activities affect personal property, businesses, the economy and public safety in all regions of the world.
The organized theft of motor vehicles, while of immediate concern to the individual owner, also has a financial implication for insurance companies, is damaging to the reputation of car manufacturers and – in most cases – is linked to other organized crime operations.
For organized criminal groups, the acquisition, shipment and trade of stolen vehicles is a low-risk way to make profits. Stolen vehicles are frequently trafficked in order to finance and carry out other criminal activities, ranging from drug trafficking, arms dealing, people smuggling and international terrorism.
Additionally, the illicit market in spare parts is a lucrative source of income for criminal organizations and offers them many practical uses. Not only does this phenomenon have a financial impact on the industry, but it also puts drivers in danger as illicit spare parts are likely to fall below recognized safety standards.
In recent years, the use of the Internet has contributed to a dramatic increase in the resale of illicit vehicle components, making this an issue of major concern for law enforcement, car manufacturers, regulatory bodies and public health organizations across the world.