Up-market cars stolen in Australia and the UK are being sold
in eastern and central Africa, police say.
Recent joint operations across the region involving Interpol
recovered more than 300 top-of-the-range vehicles from the
two nations, they said on Sunday.
Around 120 of them were found in Uganda alone.
The cars include the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover and
"all flagship brands of UK-made cars", according to Uganda
police spokesman Patrick Onyango.
They also include models of Jeep, Subaru and Honda.
Asked how police knew the cars were from Australia and
Britain, Onyango said: "We learnt about where the vehicles
came from through importation documents showing country of
"We also use shipment documents to establish where the
vehicles come from."
After impounding the vehicles, police requested the owners
provide documentation proving they legally acquired them but
"The vehicles are stolen through organised crime by members
located in Uganda, UK and Australia," Onyango said.
Police say in most cases, the vehicle's windows were
shattered or missing, evidence of forced entry.
Engine numbers were also altered, making it difficult for
unsuspecting buyers to tell whether the car is genuine or
According to Carsafe.com.au, Australia has one of the highest
rates of car theft in the western world.
On average, one in 70 Australian households had a vehicle
stolen in the past year.
The website says almost 100,000 vehicles are stolen each
year, with about one-quarter of them never recovered.
A large number of those are rebirthed, ending up back on the
market with new identities.