The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai is probing registrations of at least 400 smuggled super bikes at Pen Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Raigad district.
Pen is a small nondescript town known for its handicrafts. Each bike costs between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.
The DRI first unearthed the smuggling racket in February when it seized 73 super bikes, registered at the Andheri RTO.
The DRI found that the bikes of Honda and Suzuki brands were imported from Singapore as spare parts to evade Customs duty. While duty on a new bike is 150 per cent of its cost, duty on spare parts is 24 per cent. “We are studying documents of bikes (registered at Pen) to find out the actual owners and where they purchased the bikes,” an official said.
Inquiries have revealed that some Pen RTO staffers had taken Rs 20,000 to register a bike. The Raigad police found that bikes registered in Pen were taken to Mumbai, Pune, Surat and Kerala.
Raigad’s Superintendent of Police RD Shinde said the case was transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department. The DRI found that smugglers got the bikes to India as spare parts by dismantling them. Once here, they were assembled for sale.
The agency has found that the smugglers registered the bikes by creating fake Customs bills with fictitious names. The DRI has information that about 1,000 such bikes are in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Surat and are registered using fake documents.
A senior DRI official said many customers who purchased the bikes had unknowingly got them registered in their names. “On learning about the racket, 30 owners came and paid the duty,” the official said.