On Tuesday 11 October, a joint action day run by French Gendarmerie from the Office Central de Lutte contre la Delinquance Itinerante (OCLDI) based in Arcueil and Section de Recherches from Lille, and German Police from Cologne, in close collaboration with Europol and Eurojust, arrested 15 members of an international organised crime group (OCG) suspected of thefts of luxury cars.
For this operation, Europol provided on-the-spot support by deploying two analysts, with a mobile office to Lille and Cologne. The joint investigation team (JIT) was formed between France and Germany in January 2016 and joint, cross-border investigations subsequently began. On Tuesday, 15 premises in Germany and nine in France were searched. In addition eight cars were seized in France and three in Germany.
The OCG used the following modus operandi:
- The suspects broke into car owners' private homes to steal their car keys and registration documents.
- The documents were then forged, and the vehicles driven to Germany, where they were sold for low prices.
- The OCG is allegedly involved in the theft of an estimated 100 cars intended for resale in Germany.