A luxury car smuggling racket was busted by DRI where luxury cars were imported for ‘diplomats. 3 people have been held in the matter including the Big Boy Toz’ executive Nipun Miglani. The apex anti-smuggling intelligence agency busted the racket under ‘Operation Monte Carlo’. As many as 20 luxury cars have been reported to be smuggled which has resulted in evasion worth more than Rs. 25 crores.
Country’s apex anti-smuggling intelligence agency DRI busted a luxury car smuggling racket where the accused imported luxury cars in India in the name of ’diplomats’ to evade tax. In the bust, the DRI officials arrested 3 individuals, including CEO of Big Boy Toyz, a Gurugram-based luxury car dealing company.
Mumbai: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busts luxury car smuggling racket involving use of diplomatic privileges. 3 people incl CEO of a Gurugram based luxury car dealership arrested. 20 vehicles smuggled into India in last 5yrs, resulting in duty evasion of more than Rs 25cr pic.twitter.com/tcPVSi1PzG
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2021
The Modus Operandi in a Nutshell
The DRI initiated a mission called the Monte Carlo which spanned across 7 cities in India. The DRI kicked off the mission after it received credible tip-off that a team has been smuggling luxury cars into India in the name of diplomats and then have been diverting the cars to other individuals. Through its operation, the DRI found that more than 20 high-end luxury cars were smuggled in the country in the last 5 years. The cars were then siphoned off to other people and Rs. 25 crores of tax amount has been evaded.
DRI Details 6 Luxury Cars, Arrests 3, Dubai-based Man Mastermind
Further, the DRI has also detained 6 high-end luxury cars and arrested Liyakat Bachau Khan, Nipun Miglani and Suriya Arjunan. Moreover, the DRI also suspects that a Dubai-based person – who was investigated previously in a matter of custom offence – is the mastermind behind the smuggling racket.
Following the bust, the DRI issued a statement which said-
“He would arrange for the import of luxury cars into India from countries like the United Kingdom, Japan and the United Arab Emirates in the names of diplomats. The actual buyers for the vehicles would be identified by the CEO of a popular chain dealing in the sale of pre-owned luxury cars. Upon arrival in India, these vehicles would be directly ferried to the city of the buyer or a dealer of luxury cars.”
204% Custom Duty Evaded; Found Loophole in this Tax Law
On probe, the DRI found that the luxury vehicles had domestic registration done at different RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) in cities such as Punjab, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh. After the formalities – through which customs duty of 204% were evaded – the cars would be sold to buyers and help the fraudsters get a huge profit.
As per the DRI, imports in the name of foreign diplomats are governed under the Foreign Privileged Persons Rules, 1957. While the overall customs on import of luxury car can go up to 204%, the law exempts certain people who are serving under diplomatic umbrella and their families from custom duties.
Inside the Operation Which Was Successful
The DRI got a tip-off of one such occurrence where a vehicle was imported in the name of an African citizen who was Delhi-based diplomat. After the luxury car arrived at the port, the DRI kept a close watch on it. After closely monitoring the suspects, the agency kicked off the operation that spanned across cities and 6 cars were impounded. The agency claims that more cars will be located as the probe continues.