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York Regional Police Crack Down on Major Auto Theft Ring, Recover $3.2 Million in Stolen Vehicles

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The Nation Post

The York Regional Police, in a significant breakthrough in combatting auto theft, have charged 11 individuals with 96 criminal offences following the recovery of 52 high-end vehicles worth over $3.2 million. This extensive operation, named Project Mamba, represents a major step forward in addressing the escalating issue of vehicle thefts in Ontario.

The investigation revealed that a sophisticated group was specifically targeting luxury vehicles across the Greater Toronto Area and southwestern Ontario. Their operation included plans to traffic these stolen vehicles to distant locations, including Azerbaijan and Georgia in Eastern Europe.

In a series of coordinated efforts, the York Regional Police, in collaboration with Canada Border Services Agency and Équité Association, executed six search warrants in December 2023 and January 2024. These raids took place in Vaughan, Toronto, London, Cambridge, and Bradford, leading to the significant recovery of the stolen vehicles.

The individuals charged in this operation are Zain Afzal, 20, and Arpan Dutta, 20, from Scarborough; Andrey Pokrovskiy, 57, from Newmarket; Mohammad Hadi, 35, from Cambridge; Darren Proulex from London; Sanan Abbasov, 64, from Branford; Sadkoul Derman, 54, from Kitchener; and Ibrahim Tairou, 32, Kamal El Hadji Dani, 46, Mina Pebenito, 31 and Shaibu Kooli, 34, from Toronto. The charges laid against these suspects include theft of a motor vehicle and trafficking property obtained by crime.

This operation underscores the growing concern over the surge in carjackings and auto thefts in the region, which have seen a 300% increase since 2015. To address this urgent issue, a national summit is scheduled for February 8th, aiming to bring together provincial and industry officials. The goal is to formulate effective strategies to combat organized crime-related auto thefts.

The York Regional Police continue their unwavering commitment to dismantling organized crime groups and safeguarding our communities from such illicit activities.

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