Interpol data to help slam brakes on car smuggling | india | Hindustan Times
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Interpol data to help slam brakes on car smuggling

india Updated: Jan 19, 2009 01:51 IST
Manish Pachouly

An Interpol offer to give Indian investigating agencies access to its global database promises to greatly benefit the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in the city.

The DRI is currently investigating a major international car theft and smuggling racket involving syndicates based in the UK and West Asia.

The DRI estimates around 400 stolen vehicles smuggled into the country are either already on the road or are with car dealers, waiting to be sold.

DRI officials said access to the Interpol database would mean availability of information on the number of vehicles stolen abroad, their make and model.

“This way, we will be able to at least single out cars that match those descriptions,” the DRI official said.

Most smuggled vehicles are believed to have come into the country through Mumbai.

Some other vehicles are thought to have come in through the Kochi and Chennai ports.

DRI officials said these luxury vehicles mostly ended up with Bollywood stars and big businessmen.

The DRI realised the enormity of the racket in September, when officials raided and arrested a few city-based car dealers, seizing six imported vehicles.

A Hummer, a Range Rover, a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Toyota Hi-Ace 15-seater van were among the seized cars.

In another raid about the end of December, DRI officials seized four vehicles, including a Burstner that DRI officials said was meant for a Bollywood superstar.

They said most stars and businessmen who bought such fancy wheels were ignorant of the history of the vehicles and only thought they were saving money.

DRI officials said a new, imported vehicle involved paying a duty of 113 per cent. They added that stolen luxury cars are smuggled into India via Dubai.