INTERPOL The Hague, Interpol Ghana, VbV, Lawyers, Retrieve & DIGITPOL In Joint Cooperation To Trace And Recover Stolen Dutch Vehicles In Ghana

At the request of Interpol Ghana, a project started with the VbV, NCB The Hague, and Digitpol, a pilot has been started to trace and seize dozens of Dutch vehicles and return them to their rightful owners. This pilot project is being carried out in collaboration with Interpol Ghana, Interpol Netherlands, VbV, DIGITPOL, a law firm in Accra, and Retrieve International Recovery. This pilot has already achieved some successes and the first vehicles have been returned to the Netherlands. The first container was unloaded in the port of Rotterdam on the 28th of May 2024.

Trace And Recover Stolen Dutch Vehicles In Ghana

RAV4 Stolen in Ghana


Seizure in Ghana

In Ghana, stolen vehicles are seized based on international alerts. The Interpol office in Accra informs the Ghanaian police about this and asks them to seize the vehicle. Joint efforts are carried out with the project partners to trace the cars on the ground. After the vehicle has been seized, the release procedure starts. VbV coordinates this procedure.

Challenging release procedure

The pilot has learned that freeing vehicles in Accra can rightly be called ‘challenging’. Not only must the necessary documents be collected from the insurer that has taken legal action, but it is also necessary to engage a lawyer on site. The lawyer then carries out proceedings at a local court in Accra to obtain a judgment to award the vehicle to the rightful party, who acts there on behalf of VbV. The vehicle must then be handed over to the lawyer before the repatriation can be initiated. In all this, cultural aspects and practices as they exist and are customary on-site must be taken into account.


Once the vehicles are released, the process of repatriation begins. For this purpose, several executors must be contacted, such as shipping companies and shipping agents. In addition, formalities with customs must be completed. Only when all this has been arranged can the ‘mooring lines’ be released and the vehicles travel the opposite way across the ocean. A specialized recovery company, Retrieve International Recovery which is the recovery partner has handled the complex operation.


The first container arrived in the port of Rotterdam on the 28th of May 2024, the long trip consisted of a stop in Morocco and Spain. The next transport is now planned.

Disruption of the criminal process

The pilot aims to disrupt the criminal process. VbV’s view is that failure to intervene can be interpreted as a form of facilitating criminal activities. This was also the objection of Interpol Ghana and by starting the pilot the wishes of the Ghanaian police are therefore also being met. Although it costs money to free and repatriate the vehicles, the cost of claims for the insurer will ultimately be lower on balance. Moreover, a signal is sent that crime should not pay.

Digitpol operates as an International Stolen Vehicle Recovery & Investigation Team, offering global assistance in searching and recovering stolen vehicles. The organization is dedicated to tracing and locating stolen cars internationally, providing comprehensive support throughout the process. If your car is stolen you need to report the theft immediately to the nearest police station and then request Digitpol to support the search.  As soon as the theft is reported to the police, the Police issue an International warrant based on the VIN and License plate. The vehicle is then wanted internationally and on the Interpol SMV database. Stolen Vehicle Investigation consists of tracing and locating stolen vehicles and the recovery consists of repatriating discovered stolen cars to their rightful owner.

Full Article:

The Belgian police recently busted a criminal organization responsible for several car thefts in Belgium and the Netherlands, mainly of the car brand Toyota. The Belgian Public Prosecution Service says these stolen cars were always stacked in sea containers to ship them to Africa.

Four Dutch people in their twenties were also arrested during the police action. The Belgian Public Prosecution Service has requested their extradition. Read the full article from the AD here. 

The VBV article can be found in Dutch here

Leave a Reply