Federal Court Orders Permanent Forfeiture of 36 Exotic Cars Allegedly Stolen From Canada

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has rendered a final forfeiture order concerning 36 luxury vehicles purportedly pilfered from Canada and transported to Nigeria.

Presided over by Justice Deinde Dipeolu, the court granted an application presented and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The vehicles, confiscated from various auto shops across Lagos, were traced to entities including Wilmon Autos Nigeria Limited, Ikeoyi Enterprises, and several others. Following an initial interim forfeiture order issued in November 2023, the court mandated the EFCC to publish notices in a national newspaper, inviting interested parties to contest the forfeiture.

With no opposition registered during subsequent proceedings, the EFCC, represented by Abdul Rasheed, pressed for the final forfeiture of the cars.

Supported by an affidavit deposed by investigator Olufemi Olukini, the EFCC detailed the intelligence received from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), alleging the theft and subsequent sale of over 350 vehicles, with VINs matching those of the seized cars.

“The affidavit outlined diligent investigative efforts, including surveillance and sting operations, culminating in the recovery of the vehicles scattered across Lagos.
Parts of the deposition of the deponent in the affidavit read: “sometime in April, 2022, during an official meeting held at 7A Okoti-eboh Street, Ikoyi Lagos, between officials of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and EFCC officials, RCMP officials passed credible intelligence to the Commission which alleged that over 350 vehicles which were comprehensively listed out on an excel sheet with their respective vehicle identification Number (VIN) were stolen from Canada and shipped to Nigeria.

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“That these vehicles have been sold and/or being sold on an online website by some online vendors/agents while others are displayed for sale at various car stands across the country.”

Additionally, it revealed that Canadian insurance companies had compensated the rightful owners, indicating the severity of the transnational crime.

“That the cars were parked in residential driveways and company car lots in Canada from where they were stolen. And that various Canadian Insurance Companies which insured the vehicles indemnified the car owners and are pursuing criminal complainant lodged in Canada with the RCMP Liaison”

However,Justice Dipeolu ruled in favor of the EFCC’s application, thereby concluding a chapter in the saga of these illicitly acquired automobiles.

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