Stolen Australian cars found in Uganda

Cars stolen in Australia have been found as far afield as Uganda in an investigation by global police force Interpol.
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The operation, conducted in several countries throughout East Africa, targeted sales of high-end models in countries like Uganda, to determine whether vendors had legally acquired the cars for sale.

In particular, cars with shattered or missing windows were investigated, according to an AAP report.

Over 300 stolen vehicles from Australia and the UK were found, 120 of which were in Uganda alone.

Local police, in conjunction with Interpol, determined whether cars were stolen by requesting that vendors provide legal documentation proving their cars were lawfully acquired. If vendors were unable to do so, officers researched each car’s importation documents to establish its country of origin.

The cars – mostly Jaguar Land Rover products such as the Range Rover, but also Hondas, Jeeps and Subarus – are targeted by Ugandan crime rings whose networks run between Uganda, Australia and the UK.

In many instances, the stolen cars had their engine numbers altered, making it difficult for prospective buyers to determine whether a car is genuine or illegally acquired.

Australia has one of the highest car-theft rates in the western world, with approximately one in 70 Australian households having had a car stolen in the past 12 months. Almost 100,000 cars are stolen

in Australia each year, of which almost one-quarter are never recovered.

Police officers say most stolen cars end up for sale, either locally or abroad.