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Old 26th April 2008, 13:07   #1
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Default Mega imported car dealer - Choksi - nailed & arrested!

No one can miss the long stream of imported cars parked on Linking road, Santacruz West. Choksi has been one of Mumbai's most colourful imported cars dealer.

Buttttttttttttttttttttt the law seems to have finally caught up with his inethical business practices. Get this, he imported a 2004 Land Cruiser and showed it as a 1998 model. The declared value was only 5.72 lakh rupees (c'mon, the cost of a Maruti Esteem then?!!) supported by a fake chassis number. To top it all up, the passport used for transfer of residence was fake too! The media seems to have taken a fancy for this story since it was Sushmita Sens car.

Man, there is a limit to the amount of "jhol" you can do. Errant importers will surely make a note of this incident and hopefully, import cars in a fully transparent legally-bound manner. But the question is, can the buyer be let entirely off the hook? Surely, someone as smart as Sushmita had seen discrepancies in the paperwork and knew that she isn't paying 50 lakhs for a 1998 car!

Here is V12s thread on fake registration numbers too.

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Old 26th April 2008, 13:17   #2
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Im really happy to read this today. Finally!!!!!
I too cant imagine how customs n excise could allow a Landy in the country with a claimed price tag of 5.72 lakhs. I guess it took the DRI to finally see the facts.
Im glad the system finally seems to have caught up.(kanoon ke lambe haath pairon tak pahounch hi gaye) And i hope this doesnt end up as an eyewash.
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Old 26th April 2008, 13:20   #3
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I did also read today that she paid Rs. 4 lacs as official duty on the car. What is the % of import duty on foreign cars now?
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Old 26th April 2008, 13:58   #4
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Yes read the same in TOI. There are so many cars coming in through this practice.

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I did also read today that she paid Rs. 4 lacs as official duty on the car. What is the % of import duty on foreign cars now?
New - 114% (above 3000cc)
Second hand - 167% (?)
New (below 3000cc) I dont know. And it will never come on the owners name and it will be shown as second hand(?)

I may have gone wrong with values please feel free to correct.
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Old 26th April 2008, 16:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
I too cant imagine how customs n excise could allow a Landy in the country with a claimed price tag of 5.72 lakhs.
Unfortunately (and obviously), custom officials would have had their palms greased.

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What is the % of import duty on foreign cars now?
Quote:
Originally Posted by F50 View Post
New - 114% (above 3000cc)
Second hand - 167% (?)
New (below 3000cc) I dont know. And it will never come on the owners name and it will be shown as second hand(?)
Are you sure? This is the slab that I had stored in my Palm. Not too sure about the 3.0 liter+ though:

• The customs duty is a standard 102.16% on new cars
• The customs duty is pegged at 159.87% on used cars.
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Old 26th April 2008, 17:18   #6
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I knew this would happen sooner or later. Choksi has been the favourite of Filmy personalities, when they want to buy a car. I will not blame Sushmita entirely as most of the filmy persons do not know about certain nuances on what is being done and how it is being done. I also know of numerous cars bought in the chop shop way, sold via Choksi at full price. (I was offered a new Beetle at 8L when the commanding price was above 20L in such a scheme)
Anothe dealer I know of used to bring in stolen cars. Yes you read right, I said stolen. The M.O. is to take an order of a car, place the order to the people who will arrange for a car of such specs to be whacked from somewhere. These cars are generally whacked from London and South Africa and exported world over via the Middle east.
In India, the car is bought legally and full duty and other charges are paid in full. I once enquired from such a dealer as to what if the DRI or other agencies found out and impounded the car. The reply was that as long as you dont try to steal from the govt of India its charges, being duty and other charges, they really dont give two hoots as to where and how the car is being bought in. They could care less if it was stolen or bought legally. Makes sense, this argument. Such cars will have just one key (the original would have between 3 to 5 keys) The music system would generally have been changed (due to the non availability of the code) and it would have been repainted.
Also expect the car to have the odometer tampered with.
I also found out that in certain cases, the owner, abroad willingly gives the keys (all 3 or 5) and the code to the person who buys the car from him. In such an arrangement the price paid is a little more than that of a whacked car (a premium being that all keys and the OE system is in order, the paint does not have to be changed) and the original owner will report the car as lost after a few days giving the purchaser time to get it out of the country.
In such a case the car is almost new and the purchaser gets his full money back via insurance. Its a win win situation for all.
Its a nexus which cant be broken. Im told that in Hong Kong (at least previously) this was big big business.
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Old 26th April 2008, 18:34   #7
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Thats a darn informative post, V16. Even if the stolen car is accident-free and comes at a good price, I'd never be able to trust the dealer. A thief is a thief.
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Old 26th April 2008, 19:11   #8
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I think I wrote elsewhere about a Merc which went to Sundram for servicing. They ran the VIN through the system and it came out as stolen. they told the owner but said they will not take action.

Now imagine if the government changes its stance, the info is with the dealers ready to roll!
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Old 26th April 2008, 20:18   #9
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Even my dad's 2000/2002 landcruiser is with the D.R.I. but that has to do with EPCG.....

i just have one advice...

DO NOT BLAME THE CUSTOMER

the customer buys a product from the seller but due unpayment of duty by the seller the customer is at loss...

if i buy a computer from an apple store and the apple store owner does not pay his taxes then your computer is impounded... it is really irritating and frustrating.


my dad wanted a brand new car that time but OGL was not introduced so he ordered the car from a dealer and the dealer used the epcg scheme.. he should have got ten cars, cleared taxes and then thought of the next step...
however he got 80+ cars from vips and politicians inc the blue gallardo + haryana ex cm's three prado's which were not touched by the dri... + range rovers x5's sl500's etc etc...

anyways that was a beautiful machine. words aent enough to describe it....
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Old 26th April 2008, 20:57   #10
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Good points!...

but no one questions the duties!!... all these illegal practices are because of crazy %% of duty!. Imagine if there was a reasonable duty, probably then there won't be so much energy going into getting the car to cost less!
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Old 26th April 2008, 21:16   #11
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If the duty was reasonable, you wouldn't see automobile majors setting up manfacturing facilities that they have in the last ten odd years. Its a way of protecting the economy.
According to the govenment, if someone has taste and desires, he should pay through his nose.

I probably paid a few thousands more for my eight year old yzf1000R last year than what the first owner abroad paid for it spanking new!!!!

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Old 26th April 2008, 22:55   #12
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Free up the import scenario, reduce the taxes, all these (mal)practices will stop, as a by product, more revenue will be generated by higher number of cars coming (even paying lower duties).

But don't the policy makers already not know this common sense logic? The answer is that more often than not, they do. Having it this way, leaves a lot of room for these underhand procedures, thus directly benefitting many people.

In this case, it just seems that this particular dealer must have fallen out of favour from someone up there.

Last edited by 1100D : 26th April 2008 at 22:58.
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Old 26th April 2008, 23:53   #13
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Quote:
These cars are generally whacked from London and South Africa and exported world over via the Middle east.
Very informative post Gogiji.
True, I have heard that there is stolen cars market in Uae.
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Old 27th April 2008, 00:06   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I think I wrote elsewhere about a Merc which went to Sundram for servicing. They ran the VIN through the system and it came out as stolen. they told the owner but said they will not take action.

Now imagine if the government changes its stance, the info is with the dealers ready to roll!
Thats right Ajit in this case the Company must have been informed about the vin no of the car.
I enquired from BMW India and i was told in confidence by the top guy that unless the car's vin no is reported as stolen to them specifically they would not know and frankly they do not care unless BMW tells them to hold the car if it comes their way. They have so far not come across such a case. Its not as if the information is online and normally the companies do not expect the car to land up in a far of place like India so they more often than not, dont report it here.
As you said Ajmat, it takes very little to put that information online and then the scenario would change.

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Very informative post Gogiji.
True, I have heard that there is stolen cars market in Uae.
Sharjah to be precise.
Pakistan and Nepal are other markets for such cars.
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Old 27th April 2008, 00:07   #15
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Well finally, justice did catch up...BTW this choksi guy was my uncle's classmate. Have heard that this guy used to do a lot of jhol from the start, his family has been in the car importing business since ages.
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