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NRI racket of importing high-value second-hand cars BMW 760Li, Porsche to India


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 ’02’03 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 Kalra’s 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.

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