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Stolen Malaysian cars help terror funding - police

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Reuters) - Luxury cars stolen in Malaysia are being smuggled abroad to help raise funding for terrorist and criminal groups, a top police officer said on Monday.

Some 5,000 luxury cars were reported stolen in the first five months of this year, up 12 percent from the same period a year ago, said Christopher Wan, head of the criminal investigation department.

"Such proceeds from ill-gotten gains might be used to support and strengthen criminal or terrorist organisations," news agency Bernama quoted Wan as saying. He did not elaborate.

"Trafficking and smuggling of stolen vehicles are mainly the work of structured and sophisticated global criminal groups," he said at a meeting of Malaysian and Thai police to combat car smuggling.

He said there was a need to enhance information-sharing and expertise among Southeast Asian nations to fight the menace.

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