EOCO secures order to seize alleged stolen vehicles
THE Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has secured a court order to seize vehicles suspected to have been stolen and smuggled into the country.
The freezing order from the court, according to EOCO, would enable it to seize 95 more vehicles in addition to 41 others seized earlier in collaboration with the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in December 2022.
The order was also to prevent anyone from disposing of the vehicles.
In a statement issued to the media, EOCO said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) had also been notified to be on the lookout for any possible attempt to register or change ownership of any of the vehicles.
According to EOCO, information available to it indicated that about 400 luxury vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the USA and Canada were in the country.
The said vehicles were alleged to have been obtained through fraud and other crimes and shipped into the country, with some being displayed for sale in a number of garages in Accra.
On Friday, December 9, 2022, EOCO, in collaboration with the foreign partners, carried out an intelligence-led operation for the retrieval of the luxury vehicles.
Thirty-seven luxury vehicles were retrieved from some garages and 10 persons arrested in the exercise.
Four additional vehicles were later retrieved, bringing the total number to 41.
The garages where the vehicles were retrieved were located in Dzorwulu, Dimples, North Kaneshie, East Legon, Accra Central near the Movenpick Hotel, Dzorwulu roundabout, near the Fiesta Royale Hotel, and an area near the Trinity Theology Seminary.
The vehicles included BMW X7 and X5, Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes Benz S-class, Mercedes Benz GLE, Mercedes Benz G, Audi SS, Range Rover LNDR, Jonder Odyssey, Benz 5350, Honda Accord, Lexus RX, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Acura RDX.
According to EOCO, some of the garage owners had responded to calls from the office and also submitted documents to assist in further investigations.
EOCO has, therefore, advised prospective vehicle buyers to always conduct due diligence before purchasing vehicles.
EOCO is a specialised agency established through the EOCO Act 2010 (Act 804) to monitor and investigate economic and organised crime, and on the authority of the Attorney-General, prosecute offenders to recover proceeds of crime.
As part of their functions, the office collaborates with relevant foreign and international agencies in furtherance of its objectives.