Today marks the kick-off of Project CARGO, an EU-financed project led by the German State Office of Investigation of Saxony-Anhalt targeting mobile organised crime groups specialised in cargo theft.
On this occasion, investigators from 8 EU Member States (Germany, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria), together with specialists from Europol and Eurojust and representatives of the Transported Asset Protection Association, convened at Eurojust’s headquarters in The Hague to agree on ways to tackle this criminal phenomenon in the framework of this new project.
Cargo theft in Europe is increasing in numbers of incidents and also in the cost of lost goods. The criminal groups, originating mainly from Eastern Europe, are becoming more organised and frequently target high-value products, such as electronics, tobacco and pharmaceutical products. Most of these crimes are thefts from trucks at unsecured parking sites, but violent crimes such as high-jacking and robberies are occurring more often.
Industry loses billions to cargo theft each year – in Germany alone, this figure was estimated at EUR 2.2 billion for 2016.
Running for an initial period of two years Project CARGO will target the organised crime groups involved in cargo theft through regular operational meetings and joint investigations, with the full operational and analytical support of Europol’s Analysis Project FURTUM specialised in organised property crime.