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LONDON: The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) says Europe's supply chain experienced an average of three high value thefts in 2014 with an average loss of €205,624.

TAPA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region recorded 1,102 cargo crimes last year. For the 33 percent of those reporting a value, losses were €74,847,422. A total of 92.8 percent of crimes took place in 10 countries: Germany, the Netherlands, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Austria, Sweden and South Africa.

Tapa Annual Report 2015 CoverThe association says the use of violence by criminal gangs grew 4.5 percent year-on-year, driven largely by 102 violent hijackings of trucks in France, Italy and South Africa. Thefts from vehicles continued to account for the biggest share of the total with over 500 incidents in 2014.

Germany recorded the highest number of freight crimes as thefts rose 42.5 percent from 2013 to reach 285. The UK experienced the highest percentage growth of all countries in the region as thefts rose 98.8 percent to 175. Meanwhile the Netherlands saw a drop of 9.7 percent compared to the previous year but still recorded 258 incidents overall.

The top 10 cargo crimes in 2014 involved a combined loss of €32,471,000 says TAPA EMEA with 15 thefts exceeding €1 million as gangs targeted scratchcards, cosmetics, consumer electronics, clothing, footwear, tobacco products, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, auto parts and cash.

Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA commented: "It is well-known that the majority of cargo crime still goes unreported and that is a situation industry has to change. In 2007, a European Parliament study on organised theft of commercial vehicles and their loads put the annual cost to business as €8.2 billion and attacks on the supply chain by organised criminal gangs have certainly increased since then.

"We also know that the true cost of loss, taking into account all of the factors that can result from a cargo crime, can be five times the cost of the actual stolen product," he added.

TAPA says it is working increasingly closely with the European Commission, INTERPOL, Europol, the World Customs Organization, national government ministries, law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry to identify the most effective ways to support its 800 members reduce supply chain theft.

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