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DRI seizes imported used foreign cars

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, June 7 (UNI) Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Chennai, has unearthed a novel modus operandi in the import of used foreign cars after seizing dismantled parts of 17 used foreign cars, which were imported as ''spare parts'' into the country.

DRI Additional Director General P Babu told newspersons here today that the used cars, purchased in Singapore and Malaysia, were dismantled and the body was cut into three to four pieces and imported into India and cleared through Customs by misdeclaring as used car are parts and accessories.

Some prominent brands of cars seized were Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi GTO, Honda, Mitsubishi Lancer, Toyota MR2, Rover Mini Cooper, Toyota Siliva, Mazda 323, Volks Wagen, Mitsubishi Colt and Mitsubishi Mini Pajero.

A car garage owner, Ramadas and his son Suresh were the brain behind the racket. No arrests have been made so far, Mr Babu said.

In Chennai, the cars were welded and re-assembled in three private garages and painted to give original look of an imported car and sold to unsuspecting buyers with forged dcouments, he added.

He said the DRI raided three private garages and seized 17 cars in various stages of assembling and incriminating documents and forged documents submitted to RTO for registration were seized.

''Two live imported consignments declared as car parts and accessories have also been seized'', he added.

Mr Babu said Ramadas, who was indulging in such acts for the last two years, had admitted his guilt and paid Rs 31 lakh towards differential duty.

He said since 118 per cent duty had to be paid for import of new cars, only about 25 per cent has to be paid for importing car spares and accessories. ''Such vast difference in differential duty is a tempting profit'', he added.

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