Organised crime targets tractors

Organised crime bosses are turning to tractors and building equipment to launder cash, industry experts claim.

They say a lack of regulation enables criminals to sell stolen machinery. Last year, 3,678 pieces of equipment worth £36m were stolen, including record numbers of tractors, quad bikes and forklift trucks.

Tim Purbrick, the manager of the National Plant and Equipment Register, said the sale and use of heavy machinery was not regulated as closely as that of ordinary road vehicles: "Organised criminals probably make more money out of equipment theft for far less risk than they do from smuggling drugs."