Last updated: 23 August, 2011

Car thieves’ network dismantled in Algeria

Algeria’s paramilitary gendarmerie has dismantled a network dealing in stolen luxury cars that was operating via France and Tunisia, the local press reported Tuesday.

Police arrested five people and two others are on the run, according to the French-language daily Liberte.

At a first hearing, the detainees admitted to running a complicated network between Paris, Tunis and El-Oued, 650 kilometres (400 miles) south of Algiers. The stolen vehicles were shipped across southern Tunisia and wound up at Oued Souf in Algeria.

The cross-border network had accomplices “including in France”, according to the paper, which said that the expensive cars “needed forged vehicle logbooks, consular papers, residency certificates and the availability of foreign currency.”

The network hired emigrants or frequent travellers to drive the cars for them across border zones.

The Algerian gendarmerie and Interpol are working together to identify the stolen cars, the press said.