Quebec provincial police and specialized teams have seized 53 stolen vehicles from the Port of Montreal.
The Sûreté du Québec sent a news release Tuesday afternoon saying 26 containers were searched at the port, leading to the massive seizure.
The police operation was carried out in connection with the overseas export of stolen vehicles, police said.
A new mixed police squad dedicated to vehicle theft, the Escouade régionale mixte vol de véhicules (ERM), was introduced last week and took part in the operation. The ERM makes use of 30 resources from the SQ, Quebec municipal forces and the RCMP.
“In addition to investigators from the SQ and Quebec municipal police forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) also took part in the searches and seizures, while the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Montreal Port Authority collaborated,” the press release stated.
Last week, the federal government promised $28 million in new money to help fight the export of stolen vehicles by giving the Canada Border Services Agency more capacity to detect and search containers with stolen vehicles inside.
A day earlier, federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference in Montreal, where he blamed a rise in car thefts on the Trudeau government.
New numbers by insurance companies show car thefts in Quebec rose by 58 per cent last year.