EXCLUDED – Catalytic converters traffic dismantled between the Var and Poland, a gold mine

A seynois and 2 Poles were arrested last Tuesday in the parking lot of a hotel in La Seyne-sur-Mer, in the middle of a fraudulent transaction. They are suspected of being involved in trafficking in pots between the Var and Poland. A van loaded with 150 catalytic converters were seized, as well as 20,000 euros in liquid. The departmental security, in charge of the investigation, has already established a list of fifty victims, but the figure should be multiplied by four or five for damage estimated at more than 80,000 euros. These pot thefts took place in particular in the spring throughout the Toulon conurbation.

You may not know it but you have a gold mine in your car. A catalytic converter !!! This element is found on the muffler of internal combustion engines and helps reduce the harmfulness of exhaust gases. In these catalytic converters, there are precious metals which sell for much more than gold. And that, some have understood.

Well-oiled traffic

Small hands were in charge of stealing the catalytic converters on the ground. A team of three thieves, one of whom was arrested last June, precisely hand on the pot, in the process of cutting the cut out with a saber saw. Investigators quickly became certain that he was not alone, faced with the resurgence of thefts of this type of merchandise throughout the Toulon metropolitan area last spring. Their suspicions are confirmed with the arrest of his two alleged accomplices. The investigation then leads them to the alleged sponsor, very unfavorably known. A considerate Seynois who sought to facilitate the work of his executants by providing them with saber saw blades. He hid them in his electric meter in front of his home. The others just had to help themselves. Sponsor who then took care of handing over the pots to two Poles.

A gold mine

In a catalytic converter, in fact, there are precious metals, palladium, platinum, and especially rhodium. However, the price of precious metals has continued to soar in recent years. And rhodium is the king. A gram can be traded around 400 euros when gold is currently approaching 50 euros. Of course, for each model and each brand of vehicle, the quantity varies, but each time in each catalytic converter, one can find up to several grams of precious metals.

In this case, the sponsor from Seyn sold each pot to the two Poles for between 100 and 200 euros. The goods were loaded into a rental van that was crossing Europe to reach Poland. And at the end of the chain, these pots were boned, allowing at least double the purchase price depending on the model. The prize goes to the pot of toyota prius releasing an average of 1000 euros of precious metals.

More than fifty victims have already been identified throughout the Toulon conurbation but the list is not yet exhaustive, because the census is now continuing within the framework of a rogatory commission. “The figure should be multiplied by four or five “ according to a connoisseur of the file estimating that the traffic was clearly in place for several months.

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EXCLUDED – Catalytic converters traffic dismantled between the Var and Poland, a gold mine

Hank Gilbert