Italian police bust stolen luxury car and commercial vehicle racket involving Malta, Libya

Two Maltese among 40 investigated by Italian police over stolen vehicles that were being sold to Libya via Malta at below market prices

Commercial and luxury vehicles stolen in Italy were being shipped to Libya via Maltese intermediaries
Commercial and luxury vehicles stolen in Italy were being shipped to Libya via Maltese intermediaries

Italian police are investigating 40 people, including two Maltese, involved in a racket through which stolen luxury cars and commercial vehicles were resold.

The vehicles were stolen in Sicily and Calabria for shipment to Libya, via Malta.

The Ragusa police said that the criminal networks used the ports of Pozzallo, Augusta, Naples, Catania, Palermo and Salerno to dispatch the stolen vehicles to Libya. The Maltese acted as intermediaries between Libyan businesspeople and the Italian criminals.

The operation codenamed Coast to Coast, saw more than 150 police officers search some 50 premises in Sicily over the past two days. The police recovered 21 trucks, one concrete mixer, one compactor and eight luxury cars, apart from stolen number plates, counterfeit documents and other items of dubious provenance.

The people investigated form part of three different criminal networks operating in Italy, Malta and Libya.

According to the Ragusa police, 33 Italians, two Maltese, one Tunisian and four Libyans are being investigated.

The Ragusa police said the discovery of the racket explained the spate of stolen commercial and luxury vehicles in Sicily and Calabria over the past few years.

The police gave no details on who the Maltese are and whether they have been arrested.

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