herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dismantled luxury Audi and BMW cars were destined for Europe

The Audi broken up by the thieves for shipment abroad
The Audi broken up by the thieves for shipment abroad

Gardai have reunited the owners of two luxury cars with their stolen vehicles - which were about to be smuggled to Lithuania after being totally dismantled.

Gardai from the Dublin Metropolitan Region traffic division and the stolen vehicle unit discovered an 2012 Audi and a 2008 BMW which were completely taken apart and concealed in a trailer.

The seizure was made at Dublin Port as part of Operation Waste.

Both cars had been stolen from the Rathfarnham area of Dublin and were destined for eastern Europe.

The car parts had been wrapped in plastic to protect them on the journey.

Previously the Herald revealed that there are at least three separate gangs that gardai have been targeting as part of a clampdown on a multi-million euro international car theft ring.

The cars are being stolen to order and then shipped out of the country.

One senior source described the enterprise as "truly massive".

A Nigerian criminal who lives between Dublin and London and a Lithuanian gangster who is based in West Dublin are believed to be key players in the car theft ring.

Meanwhile, a Co Meath-based traveller, originally from Finglas, is thought to be acting as a middle man.

He is suspected of raking in thousands of euro weekly from facilitating the sale of the cars robbed by Lithuanian and Irish criminals to Nigerian and Lithuanian crime gangs.

The thug has a number of previous convictions and was previously hit with a massive bill from the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Gardai have said that investigations into yesterday's seizure are ongoing, and no arrests have been made yet.

High-powered vehicles being moved out of the country have been secreted in various ways, including under piles of tyres, scrap or computers and concealed in bigger vehicles.

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