"Amerika Hangja" - Voice of America - Auto lopas.
(Elnezest az esetleges kisbetukert, de az eredeti szoveg csupa
nagybetuvel volt irva, amit at kellett cserelnem.)
title=East / West Car Thefts
dateline= Vysne Nemecke
Intro: The growing number of cars stolen by organized crime has
become a major problem to police, insurance companies and car
owners throughout Europe in recent years. Many of the stolen
cars end up in the former Soviet Republics. V-o-A's Jolyon
Naegele reports from the Slovak-Ukrainian border on efforts to
clamp down on the flow of stolen vehicles.
Text: A few meters inside Slovakia at the country's only border
crossing with Ukraine, an assortment of impounded Mazdas, V-W
Golfs, Audis, B-M-W's, Mercedes-Benzs and even a Skoda occupy a
police parking lot.
Six German border police investigators have turned the parking
lot into an open air classroom as they give Slovak border police
a two-day course in detecting forged engine and chassis numbers
and counterfeit license plates.
(Michalovce) District police commander Jan Pipta, who is in
charge of the local detachment of Slovak border police, says the
number of stolen cars impounded here at Vysne Nemecke has risen
from 47 last year to 140 during the first half of this year. He
says that while he has no idea of just how many are getting
through, he is convinced the number of impounded vehicles will
rise as his officers gain experience in detecting falsified
Bavarian border police investigator major Herbert Donner explains
why his delegation is at the Slovak-Ukrainian border.
// Insert Donner act in German, may be faded under voiced
The fact is that we are aware that cars are moved into Ukraine
after having been stolen in the West, major Donner says, as he
watched the types of cars queueing up at the Vysne Nemecke /
Uzhorod border crossing.
On the day the German delegation arrived, almost all the
passenger cars lined up to enter Ukraine were used, Soviet-era
vehicles passenger cars: Ladas Zhigulis and Moskviches purchased
by Ukrainians and Russians in Slovakia and the Czech Republic for
resale across the border. An upscale Mercedes or B-M-W would
stick out in this long, barely moving line, unless it arrived at
night, sped to the front of the line and with a wink, a wave or a
handshake continued on to Uzhorod (ukraine) and points East.
Some drivers of stolen cars are believed waved through by bribing
Slovak customs officials. Several customs officers were fired on
suspicion of corruption last year. District police commander
Pipta warns that unless the director of customs takes what he
terms adequate personnel measures soon the police will have to
A few drivers have circumvented Vysne Nemecke by turning off the
road and driving through open fields to get into Ukraine.
Officials in Velke Kapusany, just South of Vysne Nemecke, say
three B-M-W's were recently driven illegally across the so-called
green border into Ukraine. Ukrainian border police appear to be
implicated in the case. The cars' tracks led up to the border.
But on the other side, the tracks had been carefully swept away.
// Opt // Major Donner says that about 120-thousand cars were
stolen in Germany last year. He says the cars tend to be stolen
at night by organized crime syndicates and driven out of the
country by couriers at break-neck speed. By the time the car is
reported missing, it is, in all likelihood, in the Czech
Republic, Poland or Slovakia with a new identification papers.
Major Donner says stolen vehicles are believed to constitute
about one-third of all the cars on the road in some parts of
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. // End opt //
Slovak commander Pipta says most cars seized at Vysne Nemecke
were stolen in Germany or in the Czech Republic. Some get new,
counterfeit documentation in the Czech towns of Usti-Nad-Labem or
Brno; others in the Polish city of Lodz, before being driven
through Slovakia to the Ukrainian frontier. Czech police say
that one-fifth of the cars stolen in Northern Bohemia are
insurance scams, in which German drivers take their cars to the
Czech Republic hand them over with the car papers to criminals
who then take the cars to Poland or the former Soviet Republics
for resale. The owner is paid off once the courier returns and
only then does the owner report to the police that his car has
The risk of being prosecuted for driving a stolen car is minimal.
Due to liberal regulations introduced in the former
Czechoslovakia after the collapse of communist rule, if Slovak or
Czech police detain a suspect, they have just 24 hours to build a
case or else they must release him.
// Rest opt //
This legal loophole greatly reduces the risk of being prosecuted.
Commander Pipta explains.
// Pipta act // A ked neni na neho medzinarodny zatykac. // End
If there is no international warrant out for the driver,
commander Pipta says, the suspect cannot be detained for more
than 24 hours without adequate proof of having committed a crime.
As a result, he says, the driver is merely expelled from
Major Donner says international cooperation among police
investigators is imperative in cracking down on car thefts.
// Donner act in german , english translation follows //
It makes no difference who succeeds, whether in Slovakia or
Germany -- major Donner says, the main thing is that the criminal
is caught. So far, similar cooperation arrangements involving
training and exchange of information exist between German border
police and their counterparts in the Czech Republic, Poland and
Hungary. Cooperation is just beginning with Bulgaria and
Romania. No similar arrangement has been reached yet with
Ukraine. Thus Vysne Nemecke is virtually the last chance for an
eastward-bound stolen car to be caught and returned to its legal
25-Jul-94 11:03 am edt (1503 utc)
source: Voice of America