Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Investigators Uncover Multi-Million Pound Tax Scam in India; European Exotics And Foreign Diplomats

In what sounds more like the plot of a The Fast and the Furious movie than real life, investigators at India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence office (a.k.a. India’s IRS) have uncovered a massive exotic car smuggling operation in the nation’s capital of New Dehli. It all has to do with India’s notorious 100% import tax on new luxury vehicles.
It began with one New Dehli luxury car dealer, Sumit Walia, importing brand new luxury cars on forged invoices. These invoices listed the cars as second-hand, which saved Walia – and his customers – some 40% on import tax. Some of the cars – which included Porsches, Bentleys and Aston Martins – were found to have been stolen from the streets of Britain, France, Singapore and Japan.
A month later, another scam – involving a London-based British-Indian car dealer and diplomats from New Delhi’s North Korean and Vietnamese embassies was uncovered. The diplomats would act as middle-men for rich buyers; buying the exotics under their names and therefore getting them tax-free. An official Directorate of Revenue Intelligence office had this to say about the investigation:
“Our investigators suspect around 300 to 400 luxury cars have been imported on fake papers and sold in all major cities across India using the same modus-operandi. The cars have been sold to politicians, celebrities, cricketers, Bollywood actors and many businessmen in the last four to five years.”
Some 40 cars have been impounded, including several Porsche Panameras and Aston Martin Rapides valued at £250,000 and £290,000 per unit. A £350,000 Bentley Continental Supersport was also among those vehicles recovered. Other vehicles have simply been abandoned by their owners on the streets of New Dehli. Investigators found that most of these vehicles were either illegally registered or displayed temporary plates.


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