HYDERABAD: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (Mumbai wing) seized a Nissan Patrol SUV worth around Rs 1 crore from Malakpet in connection with a luxury car smuggling racket using diplomatic privileges to evade customs duty. The vehicle was registered in Manipur in the name of a realtor from Malakpet.
DRI Mumbai, along with officials of Hyderabad, had launched ‘Operation Monte Carlo’ to bust the smuggling racket first unearthed in Mumbai. Sources in Mumbai DRI said the car’s original owner was yet to be ascertained. The vehicle was two years’ old and the realtor had bought it from an automobile dealer in New Delhi and paid through cheque. The vehicle was registered in Kangpokpi in Manipur.
The net Customs duty on import of cars works out to 204% but the same was exempted to certain classes of members of diplomatic missions in India and their families. The cars are imported from the UK, Japan and UAE in the name of diplomats.
“The buyer is a dealer of a popular pre-owned car outlet. The vehicle registration is done in other states such as Manipur and then sold to buyers in India,” said an official.