Expensive stolen cars headed to Mali intercepted at Port of Norfolk

Posted at 10:52 AM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 16:57:08-05

NORFOLK, Va. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Norfolk intercepted two pricey stolen cars that were headed to Mali.

The two vehicles, a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE63, are valued at more than $140,000.

The two stolen cars were turned over to Virginia State Police Special Agents to be returned to their owners.

"Part of safeguarding our nation's interests is to make sure that all exports are legitimate and lawful," explained Mark J. Laria, Area Port Director for Port of Norfolk. “We check exports for stolen goods, advanced technologies, firearms, and dual use items, among many other requirements."

The shipment was targeted for inspection due to the unusual export country of Mali. The exporter has submitted titles for two older vehicles, a 1990 Honda and a 2000 Nissan.

During the inspection on January 19th, officers discovered the Vehicle Identification Numbers did not match those on the Shippers Export Declaration and in the Automated Export System.

More investigation showed that the VINs matched active stole vehicle records in the National Criminal Information Center from the Sands Point Village Police Department in New York and the Connecticut State Police.