LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-three stolen high-end vehicles bound for China were recovered Tuesday at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Wednesday.
A press release issued by the CBP said its officers assigned to the Outbound Enforcement Team at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex recovered the stolen vehicles worth nearly 1.9 million U.S. dollars, including 11 Mercedes-Benz GLS 460 and 12 Land Rover Range Rover.
These stolen vehicles ready for exportation were discovered while the CBP was conducting an outreach operation at two major Southern California vehicle export facilities, cooperated by the California Highway Patrol and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The recovered vehicles were turned over to state authorities for further investigation and all of them would be returned to rightful owners, read the press release.
According to the CBP, 700 to 1,60 vehicles were processed for exportation at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport at any given day.
While the vast majority comply with federal and state regulation, there is a global black market where foreign individuals are willing to pay a premium for desired luxury brands and vintage models regardless of importation fraud schemes.
"By defrauding vehicle dealerships, financial and insurance companies, international thieves negatively impact the economy and consequently the American consumer," said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.
In fiscal year 2018, the CBP at Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport seized 66 vehicles heading overseas, including 40 stolen, 11 with odometer rollback, five undervalued, six had fraudulent documents, one concealing weapons/arms and three unlicensed/military vehicles.
Total value of fiscal year 2018 seizures is 4.3 million U.S. dollars.