Ten months after an exercise by the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) Ghana, to impound 44 luxurious cars suspected to have been stolen from Europe, 15 owners of the cars are yet to come forward to claim them.

Ten of the owners have been sent to court on charges of possessing stolen property after investigations had established that the vehicles were stolen, while the document on one of the cars has been forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department for advice. Eight of the cars were returned to their rightful owners in Ghana because their chassis numbers tallied with documents covering them.

The acting Director of INTERPOL Ghana, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Faustina Agyeiwaa Kodua Andoh-Kwofie, who disclosed this to the Times on Friday explained that the failure of the 15 ‘owners’ to contact the police, was hindering police efforts to get to the bottom of the case.

DSP Andoh-Kwofie said that if after investigations, it was established that the vehicles were stolen and brought into the country, they would be returned to their countries of origin for release to the owners.

Throwing light on their modus operandi, she said those who stole cars from Europe tampered with the chassis numbers embossed on the engine of the cars as well as vital information so that they could not be identified.

She said INTERPOL Ghana, has a database facility which can detect if a vehicle or any traveling document such as passport was stolen.

Explaining how the system works, she said the data contained every information on stolen vehicles reported to any of the INTERPOL offices across the globe and it would give a signal and produce all the in¬formation on the particular car being investigated.

If found to have been stolen, the vehicle has to be impounded, and the owner interrogated on how it was acquired.

She said the database would soon be extended to all the country’s entry points particularly Tema and Takoradi ports to intercept stolen vehicles.

DSP Andoh-Kwofie expressed concern about the rate at which people brought stolen vehicles into the country and mentioned Holland, Poland, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, and USA as countries from where most of the vehicles were stolen.

She said her office was also collaborating with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, the Ghana Im¬migration Service and the Ports and Harbours Authori¬ties, on the issue.

She has, therefore, appealed to the public especially those whose vehicles or other valuable documents like passports have been stolen to report to the police to enable her outfit to circulate the information to other INTERPOL offices all over the world to look out for either the vehicle or arrest anybody using the said docu¬ment.

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