'Operation Terminus' seizes 23 stolen vehicles bound for Africa

Customs and Border Protection officials conducted a five-day operation in mid-February and discovered the vehicles in less than one week.

Chris Keating and Matt Trapani

Mar 8, 2023, 11:07 AM

Updated 494 days ago

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A bust at the Port of New York and Newark has dealt a major blow to an organization stealing vehicles in and around New Jersey.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recovered about two dozen vehicles that were packed into shopping containers bound for Africa.
Car thefts have been on the rise in New Jersey. News 12 New Jersey has repeatedly been told by local police departments that cars are stolen and then shipped overseas from the port.
Authorities say that 23 cars were found. They range from an Audi Q8-S to a Lexus RX 350, as well as Hyundai and Honda SUVs.
The five-day operation was dubbed “Operation Terminus.” The vehicles were not yet loaded onto ships.
Investigators say they acquired information that the vehicles were headed for West African countries, including Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Monrovia and Liberia. Customs also found 109 rounds of ammunition in one car headed for Nigeria.
The vehicles were valued at $1.3 million in total.
Customs says that when agents opened the containers, they found that the vehicles were hidden behind mattresses and stacked on top of one another to conceal the cargo. Customs often relies on intelligence and X-rays of specific containers to track stolen goods.
Authorities would not confirm if any arrests were made, only saying that the investigation is ongoing.
Customs says that the Port of New York and Newark is No. 1 in the nation when it comes to seizing stolen vehicles headed overseas.
A full list of the stolen vehicles is below.
Stolen Vehicles recovered: 23 (value $1,333,425.00 USD)
1. 2021 Mercedes Benz G55 $155,850.00
2. 2020 Mercedes Benz S560 $73,775.00
3. 2021 Land Rover HSE Sport $79,995.00
4. 2022 Jeep Wagoneer $69,990.00
5. 2021 BMW X7 $63,985.00
6. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe $26,850.00
7. 2022 Lexus RX 350 $48,995.00
8. 2021 Honda CRV $30,990.00
9. 2021 Audi Q8 S $70,995.00
10. 2021 Audi Q5 $42,950.00
11. 2019 Land Rover HSE $72,995.00
12. 2016 Lexus LX 570 $54,490.00
13. 2020 Hyundai Tucson $26,600.00
14. 2021 BMW 540 XI $53,355.00
15. 2020 Jeep Wrangler $52,220.00
16. 2019 Honda CRV $28,000.00
17. 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS $42,950.00
18. 2020 Honda CRV $29,000.00
19. 2022 Chevrolet Suburban $74,800.00
20. 2020 Jeep Wrangler $41,700.00
21. 2022 Jeep Wrangler $55,995.00
22. 2020 Audi Q 5 $33,950.00
23. 2022 BMW X 5M $102,995.00


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