DETROIT (Reuters) - A federal indictment was unsealed here on Wednesday against 14 people who are charged with running a phony carjacking scheme that funneled stolen luxury vehicles from the United States to Iraq through Canada.
According to the indictment, members of the ring would rent luxury sedans and SUVs and other cars in Detroit and then quickly report them either stolen or carjacked.
In fact, the cars would be driven into Canada and then shipped to Iraq for sale.
Nine of the 14 suspects were arrested in Detroit and four were arrested in San Diego. One suspect, Danieal Korkis of Sterling Heights, Michigan, remains at large.
Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, called the enterprise "a large-scale car-theft scheme."
The arrests capped a two-year investigation of the ring, McQuade said.
Five of the vehicles the gang allegedly reported stolen were intercepted on shipping containers in Montreal bound for Iraq.
Export documents accompanying the five vehicles identified the exporter as Discount Auto Sales, a company owned by 57-year-old Adnan Hana of Sterling Heights, who McQuade said was the ring's leader.
(Writing by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune)