Thursday, July 02, 2009

Heavy Construction Equip Theft Growing Trend to Support Terrorism, Car Dealer Ali Hassan Hammoud Buys 7 Mack Trucks $700,000 Counterfeit Check

Heavy Construction Equipment Theft Growing International Criminal Trend to Support Terrorism, Miami Used Car Dealer Ali Hassan Hammoud Tried To Buy 7 Mack Trucks With A Counterfeit Bank Check For Over $700,000 scam exposed by PI Bill Warner.

The criminal world has discovered a lucrative and growing market: heavy construction equipment. This growing problem is extremely costly to owners of construction equipment, who not only lose valuable equipment, but also pay the price of business downtime. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, close to $1 billion a year is lost nationwide due to theft of construction equipment. A 2005 equipment theft survey conducted by Equipment Today magazine shows that almost 72% of respondents have experienced equipment theft.

Despite the value of construction equipment and the direct impact that equipment loss has for the independent contractor, for the multi-million dollar contracting firm and for the economy in general, few hard statistics are available that document the issue of construction equipment loss on the local, state, national or International level. In an effort to document and develop a picture of what construction equipment theft looks like nationwide.

Rates of equipment theft were highest in those states where a rapid growth rate had been fueling many construction projects.
1) California
2) Florida
3) Texas
4) Arizona

Miami used car dealer ali Hassan Hammoud was reported to have attempted to purchase 7 Mack trucks for over $700,000 with a counterfeit Certified Bank Check in the Dominican Republic and have the vechicles shipped to Miami and then re-shipped out of the USA to the Middle East using his Zamaiss Import Export company. The Middle East, especially Dubai and Abu Dubai and East Africa are experiencing rapid growth and in need of heavy construction equipment.

On or about August 8th, 2008 I received a phone call from a Miami body shop owner who claimed he had also been a victim of Ali Hassan Hammoud, Hammoud had used his State of Florida used car license (with his approval) to purchase used cars from
CoPart, but the supposed Certified Checks that Ali Hassan Hammoud presented to CoPart for the vehicles were forgeries and the Miami body shop owner is now on the hook for thousands of dollars as it was his license used to purchase the cars.
Ali Hassan Hammoud could not purchase used cars as a dealer in the State of Florida as his license had been revoked, something about all those stolen car charges and operating a Chop Shop. Ali Hassan Hammoud was more than likely sending stolen vehicles out of the country after switching the VIN's from the Copart auction cars to the stolen cars and then via the Port of Miami to the Middle East through his Zamaiss Import Export company.

Hammoud, a native of Lebanon lives in Miramar FL,
Law enforcement records indicate Hammoud has arrests dating to 1996 for possession of counterfeit designer clothing, operating a chop shop, vehicle theft, selling vehicles with altered numbers (VIN) and fraud.
Ali Hassan Hammoud operated his chop shop under the name of Germanco Auto Parts, also as Germanco Parts Depot Inc, and as Germanco Auto Sales Inc, all linked to the 9741 NW 27th Ave address of "Zamaiss Import Export Inc." as seen in the story below. Ali Hassan Hammoud also appears to be linked to a second Florida car business that appears to have been exporting stolen used cars to Africa and selling the vehicles with altered VIN's.

Hammoud, a native of Lebanon who lives in Miramar, was arrested Friday July 24th 2008 at Miami International Airport by FBI agents arrest as he was attempting to fly to Beirut. Muslim used car dealer Ali Hassan Hammoud was able to steal $5.7 Million from the State of Florida and wire transferred at least $3 Million to Beirut Lebanon (can you say "Hezbollah").

In an affidavit accompanying the wire fraud charges filed against Hammoud FBI Agent Zachary Coates said the state began depositing money in Hammoud's bank account on July 21, after receiving a form asking that money due Anderson Columbia be paid to an account at Regions Bank in Miami instead of the true account at Wachovia in North Florida.


Early Morning Raids on Feb. 11th 2009 as Part of “Operation Tag Sail” Lead to 12 Arrests for Stealing More than $2.5 Million in Vehicles for Black Market Sale Across the U.S. and in the Dominican Republic, the raids were instigated with the help and investigation of the Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit and the United States Customs and Border Protection Agencies in Florida.

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the shutting down of a Bronx-based criminal enterprise that stole and exported millions of dollars worth of construction equipment and luxury vehicles, as well as the arrests of 12 individuals associated with the crime ring.

A series of early morning raids conducted by Attorney General Cuomo’s Organized Crime Task Force and the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau Auto Crime Division capped a year-long investigation dubbed “
Operation Tag Sail.”

The investigation focused on a Bronx-based criminal ring that allegedly stole nearly 50 vehicles from construction sites, public streets, car dealerships, and parking garages. They allegedly
specialized in stealing high-end luxury automobiles, including Hummers and Porsches, and heavy equipment such as Caterpillar Excavators and other makes, for sale on the black market in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the Dominican Republic.

In total, 12 individuals – including a boss, under-boss, forgers, vehicle thieves, and other members of an alleged illicit crew –
were arrested on felony charges filed in Bronx County. Of them, 10 were charged in a 100-count indictment with, among other crimes, Enterprise Corruption, Forgery, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Forgery of Vehicle Identification Number, Grand Larceny, and Conspiracy. Enterprise Corruption alone carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison. The other two defendants were separately indicted for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Grand Larceny.

Some people try to smuggle jewels out of the country. These individuals tried to sneak off with Caterpillars and Hummers. What they lacked in finesse they tried to compensate with audacity. But it made no difference. They met with the same end – arrest – thanks to the outstanding work of NYPD auto crime detectives and their partners in the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

The investigation utilized wiretaps and other surveillance to gather evidence on the Bronx-based operation. According to the charges, the ring stole nearly 50 vehicles from construction sites, public streets, car dealerships, and parking garages.

Generally, once an automobile or truck was stolen, the defendants allegedly would ‘wash’ the vehicle’s title clean by checking the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a similar make and model (or using forged documents from out of state), using this information to put a new VIN plate and new forged stickers on the stolen vehicle, creating a title made up to match the fake VIN, and then re-registering the vehicle out-of-state (FLORIDA) – in states that could not “read” the information bar code on the forged titles. (Stolen cars appeared to be shipped out of the USA via Ports under the supervision of the United States Customs and Border Protection Agencies in Florida)

Bill Warner
private investigator