Friday, 23 June 2017

Stolen British supercars shipped to Thailand in tax scam

Dozens of luxury vehicles including Lamborghinis, Porsches and BMWs were stolen from British streets as part of the scam.
It used a range of complex methods to bypass the hefty taxes levied on supercars imported into Thailand, which usually stand at around 328%.
One tactic for avoiding the taxes involved dismantling cars, shipping them from the UK in parts and reassembling them in Thailand.
Other scammers simply lied to customs officials about what kind of car was being imported.
Eight Lamborghini Aventadors were declared to be cheaper Gallardo models, and customs officials either failed to notice or deliberately ignored the obvious discrepancy.
The most common method, however, involved simply understating the value of a car, often by many thousands of pounds, at customs.
Around 30 businesses are being investigated in the operation against the scam and a series of raids have been conducted in recent weeks.
“More than 1,000 supercars are implicated in the undervaluing scam,” said Lieutenant Colonel Korawat Panprapakorn, who is leading the operation with Thailand’s Department for Special Investigations.
“This practice has been going on for a long time.”
Authorities estimated that 38 stolen vehicles have been taken from the UK to Thailand, with a total value of some £2.3 million.The scam was uncovered when owners in the UK reported their cars stolen, and British authorities requested that Thailand help recover the vehicles.
Seven cars – two Lamborghinis, two BMW M4s, two Porsche Boxters and a Nissan GTR- have been seized at a used car dealership in Bangkok.
The owner of the dealership, Indharasak Techaterasiri, denied allegations that he had under-valued the cars in his showroom, claiming that the fault lies with customs officials.
Mr Techaterasiri, who goes by the nickname “Unity Boy”, has filed to sue the DSI after officers closed down his showroom.
Police arrested him on fraud charges after wealthy customers complained that the cars they had purchased may now be illegal.
“They keep saying on the news that all these cars are stolen, that I am a criminal,” Techaterasiri, who imports 500-600 cars from the UK every year, said. “It isn’t fair for me.”
The scandal uncovers the hidden workings of an extreme luxury market in Thailand, where an economic slump has not slowed the extravagances of a billionaire class.
Supercars can often be seen on Bangkok’s gridlocked streets.
Britain is the favourite source for luxury imports as both countries drive on the left hand side of the road.

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