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Eurowatch tracks stolen trailer across Sahara desert

19th November 2009 Print

It’s a big place, the Sahara, so when a EUROWATCH client reported a trailer missing from a defaulting lease customer last seen in Agadair, Morocco, it was going to be quite a task to get it back!

But EUROWATCH, part of the world’s largest independent vehicle tracking service, GLOBALWATCH, were able to establish contact with some locally based security partners in Morocco and the hunt was on!

Local information revealed the trailer had been seen operating between a number of Moroccan towns and its base in Agadair, so using EUROWATCH’s GPS tracking service it was decided to intercept the vehicle when it returned to its base location.  However, before that could be done, the trailer was tracked heading off its normal route, going further and further south into the Western Sahara desert.

The vehicle kept moving south and to complicate matters, because it was the Holy period of Ramadan, the driver was resting during daylight, then travelling during the night, making it difficult to organise an intercept operation on the ground.

The EUROWATCH team continued to monitor the trailer as it waited to cross the border into Mauritania and it narrowly missed being stopped there, with police arriving just as the vehicle left the ferry port!

After this, EUROWATCH decided to pre-empt any further near-misses by using all the information gathered on the trailer’s travels to identify its likely cargo and probable destination.  From this, it was agreed with the local police and security team to let the trailer return to its home base in Agadair and arrest the driver there.  But in one final twist, just 20minutes from the ambush, the trailer was tracked turning round and heading south again, almost certainly as a result of a tip-off.  Using more intelligence and analyses from previous route data, the EUROWATCH team identified the most likely final location and passed this to the Moroccan authorities.  They duly arrived on site, entered the adjacent building, and arrested the driver as he sat down to his dinner!

The vehicle is now in the custody of the local police for due legal process before it will be returned to the owner.

Stuart Byrne, who supervised the recovery operation at EUROWATCH said “This was a real challenge for us and we have been able to show EUROWATCH at its best.  All elements of the service we provide for customers was used here from the sophisticated GPS tracking technology able to follow the vehicle across the desert to our ability to liaise on the ground with local police and security services to implement the recovery operation.

“Obviously we and the customer are delighted with the outcome – vehicle recovered and the offender apprehended.”