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Cargo crime jumps 66 percent in 2013

By Staff Reports on March 18, 2014

The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) recorded 66 percent more cargo crime incidents in 2013.

That’s why TAPA is calling for greater collaboration with law enforcement agencies in Europe to combat the mounting cargo crime, with average losses per crime of 235,000 euros (US$327,120).

TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) captured data on 1,145 separate crimes against high-value, high-risk goods moving in supply chains across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region in 2013, with the vast majority of thefts taking place in Europe.

In 2013, 165 major crimes with a loss value in excess of 100,000 euros (US$139,200) were recorded by TAPA EMEA. This is based on information provided by the association’s members, data from law enforcement agencies in the EMEA region and media reports.

“We know that manufacturers and logistics service providers that adopt TAPA’s security standards as part of their supply chain security programs are three times less likely to suffer cargo crime. Nonetheless, the trend is clear. Cargo crime is increasing, supply chains are being targeted by organized criminal gangs and attacks are becoming more sophisticated and violent,” said Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA.

The 10 biggest thefts during the course of 2013 featured combined losses in excess of 55 million euros (US$76.5 million) as thieves targeted diamonds, gold, silver, smartphones and tablets, currency, electronics, cigarettes and bicycle parts. Pharmaceuticals were another prime target for criminal gangs as well as metal, clothing, cosmetics and food and beverage products.

More than half of the crimes involved thefts from vehicles, according to TAPA, which is working with the European Secure Parking Organization to promote the need for more secure parking sites across Europe. TAPA has also highlighted a growing trend of criminals boarding trucks to steal goods while they are moving.

Other ways includes thefts from facilities and fraudulent pickups.

“Industry is fighting back against these losses with the support of police forces across the EMEA region,” Neumann added. “Throughout 2013, police successfully made arrests and prosecutions and broke up criminal gangs known to be involved in cargo crime. They were also able to recover large amounts of stolen goods. TAPA EMEA is receiving strong support from the Dutch and Belgian police, who are sharing their incident data with us to help our members gain a better understanding of the volume and locations of incidents and the tactics being used by criminals. We also have good dialogue and cooperation with Europol and Interpol. This is all essential intelligence when it comes to planning a resilient supply chain.”