The vehicles, together with four more seized after they reached Vietnam, are estimated to be worth around US$1.5 million. They include a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, a black Ferrari 458, several luxury SUVs and even a Toyota Tundra pick-up.
Carlos Martel, the director of field operations in Los Angeles for the US Customs and Border Protection mentioned that the group of thieves had used fake identities to either lease or agree to buy the new vehicles in the Los Angeles area and they had defrauded dealers, lenders and insurance companies in the process.
The thieves might have gotten away with it if they had not gotten greedy and gone for the Ferrari. The Ferrari dealer used a GPS installed in the car to track it to an area near the ports and tipped off customs officials in February. The tip led to an investigation by the Customs and Border Protection agency and the California Highway Patrol and several vehicles were seized.
Last week, a ship was ordered to return to the port shortly after departure. On it they found a dozen vehicles inside several containers. All were labeled as used exercise equipments. These cars would fetch a price of up to two to three times the selling price in the United States.
Currently, the US customs officials are working with their counterparts in Vietnam regarding the other four cars that had already reached the country. Investigations are still in the early stages and no arrests have been made.