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US, Mexico train Yucatan officials on detection, recovery of stolen vehicles, vessels

MEXICO CITY – The U.S. and Mexican governments trained more than 60 Yucatan officials in how to detect and recover stolen vehicles and watercraft in Merida. The training was held Aug. 26 to 30 and included prosecutors, investigators, police officers, customs inspectors and navy personnel.

Experts from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR), Mexico’s Customs Service (SAT), the Mexican Federal Police, the Yucatan State Police, and the Mexican Navy trained more than 60 representatives of government bodies in the state of Yucatan on the identification, recovery and repatriation to the United States of stolen vehicles and vessels.

NICB maintains a unique partnership with law enforcement and serves as a liaison between the insurance industry, law enforcement community and the vehicle manufacturers. The goal of the training was to increase the investigative capacity of the attendees and strengthen collaboration between the United States and Mexico in combating vehicle and watercraft theft. During the training, attendees examined investigative techniques, security, legislation, and regulations in order to more effectively serve the public.

In the opening ceremony, the Sub-Delegado of the State of Yucatan’s Attorney General’s Office pledged his commitment to combat these crimes and highlighted the efforts of the U.S. Consulate in Merida to support the state of Yucatan in training their personnel and other government bodies.

"The United States and Mexico work closely in combating the international transfer of stolen vehicles and vessels, a crime which affects both countries by funding transnational criminal organizations," said ICE Attaché Timothy Tubbs. "Combating this and other forms of transnational crime is critical for ensuring public safety in the United States and Mexico."

According to the NICB, vehicle theft is a big business run by organized crime rings. According to the latest statistics, 57.2 percent of stolen vehicles in the U.S. are never recovered, a number that has been decreasing annually. Many of these vehicles are shipped overseas and sold on the black market. Anyone who knows or suspects a vehicle or vessel is stolen should contact the NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422) or by submitting an online tip form at www.nicb.org.