The Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence (DRI) has busted a smuggling racket involving import of luxury cars into the country using the name of diplomats to evade customs duty
The Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence (DRI) has busted a smuggling racket that involved the import of luxury cars into the country using the name of diplomats to evade customs duty, which is levied at 204%. The vehicles were then sold at a huge profit.
In a statement, DRI said that around 20 luxury cars including Range Rovers and Land Cruiser Prados were imported over the past five years in the name of diplomats who are exempted from paying customs duty for their goods.
The DRI carried out searches across seven cities and recovered six luxury cars. These cars were imported from the UK, Japan and the UAE into India in the name of diplomats. Three people have been arrested in the case while a Dubai-based businessman who is reported to be the mastermind behind the operation is yet to be apprehended,
Three key individuals including the CEO of Gurugram-based luxury car dealership Big Boy Toyz, Nipun Miglani, have been arrested in this racket so far. The other two involved are Liyakat Bachau Khan, who worked for a Dubai-based businessman and Suriya Arjunan, a Bengaluru-based financer. A case has been filed against them for importing cars in the name of diplomats and evading custom duty of around ₹ 25 crore.
The DRI zeroed in on the scam after receiving details of a luxury car imported into the country in the name of a Delhi-based diplomat from an African nation. The authorities then launched an operation codenamed "Operation Monte Carlo" and kept a close watch on the imported vehicle.
"Upon arrival in India, these vehicles would be directly ferried to the city of the buyer or a dealer of luxury cars. The domestic registration for these vehicles would be done in certain specific Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. After the registration formalities were completed, these cars on which full Customs duty @204 per cent was evaded would be sold to the Indian buyers, thereby making a huge profit at the cost of government revenue," the DRI statement read.
Big BoyToyz has issued a statement saying that it has sacked Nipun Miglani with immediate effect and a police complaint is also being filed against him to secure the interests of the company. The company has also denied any involvement in the scam.