Canada hosts national summit to combat car theft

OTTAWA, Feb. 9, (Xinhua/GNA) — Canadian federal ministers, met with law enforcement, border officials and industry players from across the country on Thursday, to find solutions to the growing challenge of auto theft.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, told the summit that the rise in auto theft over the past few years “has been alarming.” “Organized crime is becoming more brazen, and the overseas market for the stolen cars is expanding,” the prime minister said. “Cracking down on auto theft means bringing law enforcement, border services, port authorities, carmakers and insurance companies together.”

Public Safety Canada said in a news release that the federal government, would increase the capacity of the Canada Border Services Agency, by investing 28 million Canadian dollars (21 million U.S. dollars), to conduct more investigations and examinations of stolen vehicles, as well as enhance collaboration on investigations and intelligence sharing with partners across Canada and internationally.

This includes exploring detection technology solutions, and exploring the use of advanced analytical tools, such as artificial intelligence, the release said.

At the conclusion of the summit, participants endorsed a Statement of Intent, committing to work together to combat auto theft, and to finalize an action plan that will be released this winter, the release said.

According to Public Safety Canada, an estimated 90,000 vehicles are reported stolen annually, or one car every six minutes, in Canada. The majority of stolen vehicles exported are destined for Africa and the Middle East.

In some regions, organized crime groups are increasingly turning to violence to commit these crimes, like carjackings and home invasions, and the proceeds of crime are used to fund other illegal activities like money laundering and drug trafficking.