It is known tactic of the exporting car theives to remove the engine and the transmission and cut a vehicle in half and ship all together as car parts. Certain Import-Export Used Car Dealers and Auto Body Shops know these tricks.
When received on the other end, crews re-assemble the stolen vehicle and weld back together, quick paint job and out the door goes a late model Lexus or Hummer in Lebanon for resale at better than US or Canada retail prices, big money when re-sold and most likely aids in the support of terrorism.
Same scam is run out of the Port of Tampa Fl, see my prior post, Sunday, August 24, 2008, FOLLOW THE MONEY AND THE STOLEN CARS, AL-QAEDA MASTERS TERRORISM ON THE CHEAP
Ottawa police worked with the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and the Insurance Bureau of Canada on the investigation, which recovered $400,000 worth of vehicles and parts.
So far, 14 vehicles have been recovered, with more expected to be found, said Det. Marshall Clark of the Ottawa Police organized auto theft section. Police believe the stolen vehicles were being cut in half and shipped via the port of Montreal to Lebanon, where they would be reassembled or sold for parts.
They tended to be expensive models by manufacturers such as Hummer, Infiniti and Lexus.“It’s not the first time we’ve uncovered this,” Det. Clark said. “It is a common problem.”
Hanna Tanios, 39, of Ottawa was arrested and charged with fraudulent concealment and possession of stolen property over $5,000. Ayad Tirani, 39, formerly of Ottawa, was also charged but has not yet been arrested, as police believe he is in Lebanon.
Both men are also charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. On Wednesday, police executed a search warrant at Anthony’s 31 Collision & Auto Sales in Gloucester, where they say Mr. Tanios was an employee and former owner and out of which they believe the operation was being run.
A search warrant was executed Friday at a storage facility in Ottawa where cars and car parts were being stockpiled in a rented storage space. Five warrants have been executed as a result of the investigation.
“Out goal is to ultimately find out who else is involved,” Det. Clark said. When reached at home, Mr. Tanios’s wife would not comment on the charges. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police auto theft section at 613-236-1222, ext. 3792.