It was recently revealed in the media that approximately 100 vehicles are stolen and taken over the border to Mozambique every month! We shared this comment on Facebook and soon a few of my friends commented that they believe their vehicles might have been relocated to Mozambique as well!
Crime is one of the most important factors contributing to increased car insurance premiums. Vehicle theft and hijackings increase the risks of vehicle loss for car insurers and is one of the reasons why South African vehicle owners have to fork out much more for car insurance premiums.
But how big is the risk that my vehicle might get stolen and taken across our borders?
The South African Insurance Crime Bureau has revealed fascinating research results on this topic in the latest newsletter, and we would like to share some of this information:
- During the 1980s the police identified the smuggling of vehicles across Southern African borders as a problem.
- In 2005, researcher Irish stated that South Africa is the major source of vehicles that are smuggled within the SADC region.
- According to Interpol statistics, South Africa accounts for between 96% to 98% of all vehicles acquired illicitly within the region.
- In 2003 the police revealed that more than 20% of stolen or hijacked vehicles were smuggled out of the country into neighbouring states by organised crime groups.
- In 2007 Burgers et al stated that approximately 30% of all stolen or hijacked vehicles are exported illegally and undetected from South Africa, via Ports of Entry/Exit and border lines.
- In June 2009 Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) said that 20% vehicles are exported to neighbouring countries.
How easy is this cross-border theft for criminals and how many vehicles are recovered?
- Burgers (2007) stated that during 2006, approximately 27 000 vehicles left the country.
These vehicles are taken over border posts and from major harbours. Facts on harbour and border posts are:
- There are 53 land border posts across approximately 5800 km of borderline.
- There are eight major harbours.
It is believed that the recovery rate for these vehicles from most countries in the region back to South Africa is less than I% of those seized in joint operations between the SAPS and police in such countries. At an average value of R80 000 per vehicle, a conservative estimate of the direct financial loss to South Africans as a result of the illegal export of stolen and hijacked motor vehicles is R2.I6 billion per year.
This information emphasizes the need for vehicle owners to protect themselves from vehicle loss. On the car insurance blog we have also added information not only about finding car insurance – but also on the need to have the correct vehicle security systems installed!