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01 July 2016

Stolen vehicle trafficking networks targeted by INTERPOL Guatemala police operation

An operation led by INTERPOL Guatemala in tight cooperation with its domestic police partners using INTERPOL databases has resulted in the identification and arrest of key crime gang members.

It also led to the seizure of stolen cars and motorbikes and the disruption of an organized crime group responsible for the theft and international resale of high-value vehicles.

Codenamed Turbo 2, the day-long operation (22 June) involved more than 100 police officers from several national police units, including the office of the organized crime prosecutor, the national stolen motor vehicles unit, the criminal investigations unit and traffic police.

With raids triggered by data provided over INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network and its international database of more than seven million stolen motor vehicles, the operation took place mainly in the Bethania and La Verbena districts of the Guatemalan capital where mobile teams stopped and searched suspect vehicles to determine if they were stolen.

“Car and motorcycle theft has become a serious problem in central America. The success of Turbo 2 has helped us send a strong message to organized crime gangs in Guatemala and beyond that this will no longer be tolerated, and that with INTERPOL capabilities, we have the tools we need to put the perpetrators behind bars,” said Ronaldo Garcia Garcia, Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) for Guatemala.
 
“Trafficking in stolen vehicles is a crime that knows no borders, and the success of our operation was largely dependent on the quality of the data accessible via INTERPOL,” added the Head of NCB.

The three arrested suspects were the subject of national arrest warrants and are believed to be the head, deputy head and member of a dangerous regional vehicle theft and trafficking organized crime gang.