NEW DELHI, APRIL 27, 2005
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Do you have a fetish for high-value imported cars
like BMWs and Porsches? If yes, check the details
of the cars before purchasing them from the dealers.
Because, you might end up answering uncomfortable
queries from sleuths rather than enjoying a smooth
ride. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
has busted an organised racket of importing high-value
second-hand cars from Dubai at cheap rates on forged
documents. Acting on intelligence inputs, the DRI
has seized three top of the chart cars BMW
760Li, Porsche Carrera sports car and Toyota (Harrier)
which business tycoons, rich politicians and
filmstars love to park in their driveway.
The alleged kingpin of the racket Samsher Singh Kalra,
owner of Shammi Motors in Connaught Place, Delhi,
was arrested on April 21 on charges of misdeclaration
of the cars value and duty evasion under the
Customs Act. However, his counterpart handling
the Dubai part of the operation is still at large
sources said. The documents on the specification
of the cars were forged to hide it true value as well,
to circumvent the customs rules. For example, sources
said, not only the BMW 760Li was fraudulently declared
as an earlier version (740Li), the year of manufacture
was fudged from 0203 to 1998.
A senior DRI officer said that this is just the tip
of the ice berg. We have intelligence that the racket
is thriving in Mumbai in a major way and units all
over the country have been sounded to keep a tab on
imported cars, he added.
These cars are imported to meet the demands of the
rich and the famous. The price of the second hand
car, however, shipped from Dubai to reach at Mundra
port in Gujarat and was further transported by road
to Ludhiana International Container Depot (ICD), was
shown as merely Rs 7 lakh. On it, they had paid a
duty of another Rs 11 lakh.
Given the true value of the car, sources said, the
duty should have been somewhere around Rs 30 lakh.
Similarly, the Porsche Carrera, which had arrived
at the Ludhiana ICD after landing at the Nhava Sheva
port in Mumbai, too was declared as a previous model
of Boxster series.
Even the year of manufacture was shown as 1997 in
comparison to the real, 2001. The price declared was
Rs 5 lakh and accordingly a duty of Rs 8 lakh was
paid to the customs officials.
The manner in which the cars were being illegally
imported is as eye-catching as the names of the cars.
The cars were booked in Dubai in the names of the
NRIs, which as per the DRI investigation are labourers.
An NRI holding Transfer of Residence (TR) certificate
is authorised to bring second hand car to India.
It is alleged that Mr Kalras counterparts in
Dubai would pick up gullible labourers, bargain a
deal for Rs 50,000 per car. All that is required from
the traveller is that he should give his passport
so that the entries could be made that he is taking
the vehicle back, sources said. The DRI has found
out that in case of the BMW, the TR holder was Gurdev
Singh, a resident of a village in Amritsar. Likewise,
Devinder Singh of Punjab for the Porsche sports car.