Cargo crime up 66 per cent

A SUPPLY chain watchdog is calling for greater collaboration between European law enforcers and businesses following an increase in air cargo crime
An annual report conducted by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) reveals 1,145 individual crimes involving high value, high risk goods across Europe, the Middle East and African regions took place last year.  
The vast majority of incidents – representing a 66 per cent increase – were thefts that occurred in Europe.
TAPA calculates the average loss per crime was about €235,000.
Combined losses for the 10 most significant thefts last year were worth more than €55m, because thieves targeted expensive commodities, such as diamonds, gold, silver, smartphones and tablets, currency and pharmaceuticals, reveals Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA in the region.
“Manufacturers and logistics service providers that adopt TAPA’s security standards as part of their supply chain security programmes are three times less likely to suffer cargo crime,” he says.
“Nonetheless, the trend is clear: cargo crime is increasing, organised criminal gangs are targeting supply chains and attacks are becoming more sophisticated and violent,” he adds. 
The association also notes a growing trend of criminals boarding moving trucks to steal goods, as well as incidents where police impersonators have stopped vehicles and carried out violent hijackings.
“Industry is fighting back against these losses with the support of police forces across the EMEA region,” adds Neumann. “Throughout 2013, police successfully prosecuted criminal gangs known to be involved in cargo crime. They were also able to recover large amounts of stolen goods.”
TAPA says it receives ‘strong support’ from the Dutch and Belgian police and has a ‘good dialogue’ with Europol and Interpol.
Neumann continues: “We are actively trying to encourage other law enforcement agencies to work with us towards achieving our shared goals and we are also joining forces with other organisations to continually raise the issue of cargo crime at government and regulatory levels.
“In 2008, average losses for cargo crimes were just over €58,000. Last year, this figure stood at €235,000. Criminals are continually proving they will go to any lengths to steal from supply chains so the need for collaboration between industry, police and other stakeholders has never been greater,” he warns.
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