Tucson, AZ – Peer-to-peer car rental services are being used by criminals.
He said border guards were seizing the vehicles and using them for drug and human trafficking.
“Depending on the circumstances, they are trafficking people or drugs,” said Jesus Vasavilbaso, a border guard.
Vasavilbaso says criminals have been using rental cars for years. Nowadays, unsuspecting car owners are being targeted by car sharing platforms such as Turo.
People post their cars on the platform, hoping to make more money by allowing someone to rent their car for a few days.
“I submitted a police report to the Tucson Police Department and found out that the car had been seized by the US Border,” said Tom Bever, a former tour operator.
Criminals sometimes rent cars to take Mexican citizens who have crossed the border illegally, mainly in the cities of Douglas, Nogales and Sonoita. Many are inexperienced.
“We’ve seen teenagers. A lot of young people are being recruited, especially people from the Phoenix area who are employed on social networks. Tell them it’s easy, all they have to do is go to the border, pick it up. “But that is not the case, and there are consequences,” says Vasavilbaso.
The consequences are not limited to the person who rents the car; People who list their cars outside will also suffer the consequences. They end up in the middle of a long process with US Customs and Border Protection. This includes months-long car crashes and making sure they have nothing to do with the crime.
At 10 a.m. tonight, ABC 15 investigates the case, realizing that the car owner is guilty of at least one case.
Turo answered the following questions as part of our story.
What does Toro do when he is arrested for drug trafficking?
When we learn that a host’s vehicle is involved in a safety and security problem, our team will take immediate action to support the host, including working with local law enforcement to bring the vehicle, cover the event-related costs, and take other appropriate action. Blocking as a guest account.
What preventive measures are there to deal with the dangers of human / drug smuggling?
Although it happens very rarely, we take security and safety very seriously and have strong expectations to support our community. We conduct certain security and safety screening procedures to identify and investigate suspicious activity and prevent certain criminal backgrounds from accessing our services.
Trafficking in persons and drugs is a serious crime that is plaguing many in the travel and tourism industry. We have been looking for additional solutions with law enforcement agencies and partner organizations to make our Touro community safer and more secure.
How often does this happen?
Such incidents are rare in Turo; Less than half of all trips in the last 6 months.