TAPA’s Incident Information (IIS) had received reports of 190 cargo theft incidents in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region for January 2020 by the time Vigilant went to press, with losses recorded in 17 countries across the region.

Vigilant is unable to report data for a high number of these crimes but all intelligence received is available to TAPA members by searching the password-protected IIS database.

Only 106 or 55.7% of the incidents notified to TAPA last month in EMEA provided financial data, producing a combined value of €943,816 or an average of €8,903.

Only two major cargo thefts were recorded with a value of €100,000 or more:


The loss of 16 pallets of clothing and footwear from a trailer in an unclassified parking location on the northbound A1 in Peterborough in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom on 30 January.


The theft of 20 tonnes of cheese from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow on 17 January.

TAPA’s IIS also recorded six incidents with losses of between €50,000 and €100,000 last month, producing an accumulated value of €331,610:

·         €65,769 – 20 tonnes of confectionary stolen from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow on 15 January

·         €58,236 – the theft of 12 tonnes of metal in another case of fraud in Russia. The cargo was stolen from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Kamensk-Uralsky in Sverdlovsk Oblast on 24 January

·         €53,946 – a gang of offenders broke into an Origin Facility in Gathinja in Kenya on 14 January and stole a shipment of coffee 

·         €51,437 – on 13 January, 15 tonnes of tea and coffee products also disappeared in St. Petersburg, Russia. A person claiming to be the owner of the truck carrying the cargo gave instructions for the vehicle to remain in the transport yard on the pretext of requiring maintenance. By the following morning, the truck and its load had been stolen

·         €51,154 – St. Petersburg was also the city named in this loss of 12 tonnes of cheese from a Services 3rd Party Facility on 15 January. Contact was lost with the driver soon after the cargo was collected    

·         €51,068 – food and drink products were also targeted by cargo thieves on 20 January in the Russian Republic of Adygea. The driver was told to unload the shipment in an unauthorised location in the town of Tambov by an unknown individual

The top five countries in EMEA reporting freight thefts to TAPA’s IIS in January 2020 were:

·         United Kingdom – 61 incidents

·         Spain – 48

·         Germany – 27

·         Russia – 13

·         South Africa – 11

Losses in the UK included:

·         468 vacuum cleaners worth tens of thousands of euros after thieves cut the curtain side of an unattended truck parked at a service area on the A19 in Hartlepool on 13 January

·         10 pallets of electrical equipment stolen from a vehicle in a lorry park on the A14 in Ipswich on 23 January in another tarpaulin-cutting crime

·         Two thefts of whisky from separate Origin Facilities in Aberfeldy and Knockando in Scotland on 28 and 29 January

·         An Internal M.O. was recorded for this theft of fuel injectors stolen from an Origin Facility in Dordon, Warwickshire, of 31 January  

·         A shipment of batteries was taken from a truck parked in a layby in Evesham, Worcestershire, on 13 January

·         Building blocks and air rifles were reported stolen from another truck parked in a layby on the A55 in Dobshill on 9 January

·         Seven pallets of cargo – including angling equipment – taken from a truck in a layby in Suffolk

·         The loss of 10-12 pallets of shoes from a vehicle in a truck park on the A74 in Lockerbie in Scotland on 21 January. It was one of six vehicles which had their curtain sides cut open as thieves looked for goods to steal 

Attacks on Last Mile delivery vehicles and drivers continue to feature in UK incident reports. January intelligence shows incidents in Bradford, Halesown and Lutterworth. IIS was also notified of a violent attack on a driver in Harthill, North Lanarkshire, whose stolen vehicle was later traced in West Lothian on 11 January.       

TAPA is only able to share information on two of the 48 cargo crimes in Spain last month; the loss of unspecified cargo from a trailer in El Prat de Llobregat, Catalonia, on 15 January, and the theft of  adult toys from a distribution centre in Alicante province on 23 January.

The 27 incidents in Germany reported to TAPA’s IIS included losses of trucks, car parts, tools/building materials, 200 boxes of bottles, metal, household appliances, timber and propane gas.

Data for crimes in Russia once again highlighted the high number of supply chain thefts involving fraud and deception. The 13 cases of Fraud produced a total loss for the month of €483,885. In addition to the crimes already stated, goods targeted included fruit and vegetables, polyethylene film, household goods, plywood and canned food. As well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg, losses were also recorded in Omsk, Saratov, Murmansk, Kirov and Krasnodar.

Similarly, South Africa continues to suffer high frequencies of truck hijackings. The six such crimes in January involved thefts of food products and cosmetics.

Another noticeable feature of January’s IIS data was more cases of clandestine intrusion:

·         Five migrants were seen cutting a hole in a truck tarpaulin to escape from a vehicle at an Origin Facility in Purfleet, Essex, on 9 January

·         On 10 January, 42 migrants were discovered hidden on a freight train in Gevgelija, Macedonia. On the same day, in the same location, TAPA received a separate report of 20 migrants being found on a freight train, although these incidents could be connected

·         On 14 January, in Strumica, Macedonia, 36 migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Cameroon were located in the back of a truck. The driver was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling 

·         In Waremme in Belgium on 23 January, 23 migrants were discovered hiding in a refrigerated truck parked at a motorway service area

·         Migrants are also suspected of trying to break into a vehicle in Soumagne, Belgium, on 29 January

Elsewhere in EMEA, multiple trucks had their curtains slashed at parking sites on the A2 in Born and Echt in the Netherlands, while in Lodi, Lombardy in Italy, on 29 January, thieves used two trucks to block the route of three armoured, cash-in-transit vehicles. One of the CIT vehicles was able to escape and alert the police. However, by the time police arrived at the scene, the offenders had escaped and set fire to 18 stolen cars they had used to facilitate the attack.

Members can see all the latest cargo crime intelligence reported to TAPA in the Association’s IIS database.