NICB’s experience fighting insurance fraud and vehicle crime often leads to assisting groups internationally. On December 3-4, 2018, Special Agent Neil Carmody did just that. He traveled to Accra, Ghana, to train law enforcement officials from the West African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia, as part of INTERPOL’s “Project Adwenpa – Specialized Border Management Training.”
The goal of the project was to strengthen port and land border law enforcement management efforts and enhance communication and cooperation between nations in the region. Topics included North American Vehicle Identification, U.S. Theft Trends, VIN Switching, Export Fraud and Open Source Investigative Resources.
“The instruction focused on physical indicators to properly identify vehicles as well as indicators of counterfeit VIN numbers, fraudulent labels, and VIN plates, to detect potential theft,” Carmody said. Carmody co-instructed the class on vehicle theft with Sgt. Nathan Rickets of the London Metro Police Department.
Following classroom training, students participated in a practical field exercise at a Ghana Customs impound yard, identifying 10 stolen vehicles: six Range Rovers, two BMWs, one Lexus and one Jeep Wrangler, nine of which were VIN switches. The stolen vehicles originated in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ukraine and Canada.