Eleven people were detained by police in Lithuania on suspicion of stealing 41 trucks and semitrailers in 2014-2015 in France, mainly in eastern regions, following a request by French authorities.
“The losses caused were over €4 million taking into account the trucks and their cargo. Eleven persons were detained, 15 searches were conducted and resulted in the collection of substantial evidence,” Kaunas Prosecutor Virginijus Mizaras told a news conference on Monday.
The authorities said the suspects are aged 20-50 – the majority are residents of the Kaunas city and district but some are foreigners. Some of the suspects were arrested in other countries of the European Union.
The thieves mainly targeted Volvo and Scania trucks, some of them containing cargo. The vehicles were later hidden in enclosed facilities in remote areas, according to the investigation.
Coordinated by the EU’s police bureau Europol, the investigation was carried out over about a year. Lithuanian authorities have said the investigation is one of the biggest operations to combat organized vehicle thefts for a number of years.