The republic of Venezuela is an international stolen car sanctuary.
If you’ve ever had a car stolen, you know it’s unlikely that it’ll ever resurface. Professional car thefts, not those criminals who break into your car for a joy ride, know how to make your car disappear. Oftentimes, they steal your car and go straight to a hiding spot, then onto a shipping container, never to be seen in your state, or even country, again - making it impossible to find. Venezuela is a major destination of where these cars end up, especially when it comes to luxury cars.
Specialist automotive theft/trafficking gangs move the cars from Colombia to Venezuela, and the few that have been caught are really highlighting how big of an operation this is, and how the black market has allowed the theft of luxury cars to grow. Colombian authorities have shared that 84 cars and 421 motorbikes, and 90-percent of them are going to Venezuela.
The Venezuelan market is setup to harbor the exchange of stolen cars and parts. Stolen cars are easily moved into areas like Barranquilla and then sold in border regions. But this is hardly a Colombia to Venezuela problem, a lot of cars are coming from the Americas, due to the amount of higher-end cars compared to countries that have much higher poverty rates. In July 2020, 81 cars, including Mercedes-Benz cats and Lexus models were stopped in Florida before being illegally smuggled into Venezuela, and that’s one incident alone, most aren’t stopped.
Source: InSight Crime