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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stolen cars being shipped fast to far reaches of the world

Stolen cars being shipped fast to far reaches of the world

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian car theft syndicates have extended their reach to Europe and Africa although Asean countries remain the top destination for stolen vehicles.

Cars not cannibalised for their parts for sale in the local black market are shipped to locations like South Africa and Greece while the syndicates continue to feed the demand in nearer countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said there was also a big demand for four-wheel drives in the Middle East due to the “desert conditions.”

The Toyota Hilux, Toyota Camry and Honda Civic were among the most popular models “exported” while the locally-made cars were stripped for their parts, he added. 
The electronic diagnostic tool is a double-edged sword, as it can be used for either good or bad purposes.

“With the assistance of our counterparts overseas, we have recovered cars stolen in Malaysia in Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa and recently, even in Greece,” Comm Mohd Bakri said yesterday.

“The stolen cars are not kept in one place for too long.

Amog the tools of the illicit trade is a hand-held device to diagnose mechanical faults

Police are helpless to stop the use of this key instrument for theft as it is not a controlled item and is widely used by mechanics.

The hand-held device costing RM10,000 can be used to deactivate immobilisers in cars.

“It is a device we cannot control as it is used by mechanics. It is even sold at flea markets in Jalan Pasar and Petaling Street,” said Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin.

A quick web search showed that the device could be bought online as well.

The high-tech tool was designed to plug remotely into the computer controlling a vehicle's fuel injection system.

Once in the system, the device can manipulate the car's alarm system as well.

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