Police have broken up a luxury car rebirthing operation in Miskolc, in north-eastern Hungary, an official of the operational police force said on Friday.
The illegal network’s 52-year-old leader has been taken into custody and placed in pre-trial detention, Gabor Nemedi, the head of the department dealing with priority cases, told a press conference.
Police seized 20 stolen vehicles in coordinated raids at the network’s various Miskolc premises last week, nine of which had been taken apart.
Investigators believe the gang scratched off the cars’ vehicle identification numbers, forged the rest of their identifiers and sold the cars to dealerships after putting them back together.
The network comprised seven companies, including a German and a Slovak firm, Nemedi said.
the cars seized during the raid had been stolen in Hungary and western European countries, namely Austria and Germany, adding that the network resold the vehicles in Hungary.
He also revealed that the gang’s leader was known to police and had 3-4 pending criminal investigations against him.
A search of one of the stolen cars yielded five firearms, ammunition and 6.5 kilograms of an illegal substance which was later confirmed to be amphetamine with an estimated street value of 20 million forints (EUR 56,500), Nemedi said. Police also found 10.4 million forints in cash at the suspect’s apartment which he was unable to account for.