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$3.5 million worth of stolen vehicles returned to Canada after being found in shipping containers in Malta


Dozens of vehicles that were stolen from driveways across the Greater Toronto Area have been recovered halfway across the world and returned to Canada.

York Regional Police say 64 stolen vehicles, valued at $3.5 million, were found inside shipping containers in the Republic of Malta “ready to be sold illegally.”

The vehicles have since been repatriated, with assistance from the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and the Malta Port Authority.

Police say investigators believe the vehicles were all stolen from Greater Toronto Area driveways by members of a car theft ring which has been the subject of a years-long investigation dubbed "Project Majestic."

A total of 18 people were previously arrested as part of the investigation in March, 2021.

At the time police also seized 70 stolen vehicles valued at $4.5 million.

“The suspects entered the vehicles and reprogrammed ignition computers, allowing them to be driven away utilizing a new key,” police said in a news release issued on Friday. “The vehicles were driven directly to the Port of Montreal or loaded into shipping containers in Toronto and transported to Montreal by rail. The containers were then loaded onto ships and vehicles delivered to buyers in Africa and the United Arab Emirates.”

Police say the auto theft ring mostly targeted high-end vehicles, including Lexus, Toyota and Honda sport utility vehicles.

At this point it is not clear whether any additional charges will be filed in connection with the theft of the vehicles recovered in Malta.

Police say the investigation remains “ongoing.” Top Stories

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