IBC hosts 2009 Auto Theft Export Summit

Combating the organized theft of vehicles which threatens our safety and security – May 6 and May 7, 2009

OTTAWA, May 4 2009 – Auto theft is ‘big business’ in North America and on the rise globally. Organized crime gangs routinely ship stolen vehicles overseas to fund operations or to ‘chop shops’ where their parts are sold for huge profits. This growing involvement of organized crime in auto theft is a threat to our safety and security. Auto theft not only funds organized crime but also terrorism.

Auto theft costs Canadians over $1 billion each year, including police, court costs, medical services and other expenses. In 2007, auto theft cost insurers $542 million, or $35 for each auto insurance policy. The number of thefts across Canada dropped by 9% in 2007, but recovery rates also continue to decline. Low recovery rate is a strong indicator of organized criminal activity because it means vehicles are being exported, chopped for parts or re-identified and sold to unsuspecting consumers.

On May 6 and 7, key players in law enforcement, the federal government, and the insurance industry from across Canada and the United States will gather in Ottawa to attend The 2009 Auto Theft Export Summit, the 13th annual meeting of the North American Export Committee (NAEC), organized to stop the illicit exportation of stolen vehicles. Hosted by Insurance Bureau of Canada, the two-day event allows delegates to strengthen alliances and share valuable information and ideas to curtail vehicle theft for export, which remains a staple of organized crime. A wide variety of speakers, topics, and panel discussions will be featured.

The Summit will take place on Wednesday, May 6th and Thursday, May 7th at The Westin Ottawa (Confederation III Room), 11 Colonel By Drive. The colourful Opening Ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. with a pipe and drum band and flag bearers, followed by welcoming remarks by Richard Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, IBC.

To underscore the importance the Canadian government places on auto theft crime and the involvement of organized crime, The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Andrew Scheer, M.P. (Regina-Qu’Appelle), will address the summit. Other speakers include Ronald Koziol, Assistant Section Chief – Violent Crime Section, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI; Bob Cullen, RCMP – National Ports Enforcement Team, Ports of Halifax; and Jim Spiller, Chairman, NAEC, National Vehicle Service. All media are welcome.

The North American Export Committee was established in 1995 by representatives from Canada and the United States to explore ways of improving export reporting, analysis and interdiction methods. Mexico has since become a member. NAEC’s objective is to develop an export program based on best practices that can be implemented by all North American ports. Model provisions include: electronic reporting of all exported vehicles; timely, efficient response to trouble messages; enforcement; and non-intrusive container scanning.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.