2010 Ferrari 458 ItaliaEnlarge Photo
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California have seized a number of high-end cars that were being smuggled out of the country to parts of Asia.
Among the lineup of seized cars were a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and Ferrari 458 Italia.
Other vehicles included various luxury SUVs from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as a Toyota Tundra pickup.
In total, the collection is estimated to be valued at around $1.5 million.
According to the Associated Press, the vehicles were bought from dealerships in the Los Angeles area by the smugglers, who used fake identities. Some of the vehicles were purchased through lease contracts while others were purchased in full.
The vehicles were hidden in containers marked as “used exercise equipment,” and the cargo hauling ship they were on was already out to sea when customs requested it to be turned around during an investigation last week. The destination of the containers were Hong Kong and Vietnam, where the seized cars could be sold for considerably more than what they cost in the U.S.
The officers only became aware of the smuggling ring when a dealer of the 458 Italia used an in-built GPS tracking system and noticed that the car was sitting at a port. He later tipped off the officers who then started the investigation.
The investigation is still in process and so far no arrests have been made.