60 supercars seized in city, Samut Prakan raids

60 supercars seized in city, Samut Prakan raids

An official walks around a showroom during an inspection of luxury cars which were impounded over alleged import tax evasion. It is one of nine locations raided by the authorities yesterday where 60 luxury cars were seized in Bangkok and Samut Prakan. Patipat Janthong
An official walks around a showroom during an inspection of luxury cars which were impounded over alleged import tax evasion. It is one of nine locations raided by the authorities yesterday where 60 luxury cars were seized in Bangkok and Samut Prakan. Patipat Janthong

Sixty luxury cars thought to be connected to a tax evasion network were seized in raids on nine locations in Bangkok and Samut Prakan yesterday.

Of the vehicles, 40 are Lamborghinis while the others include Ferrari and Lotus supercars.

The crackdown was launched by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) following a lengthy inspection and probe of a trailer truck transporting luxury cars which was engulfed in a fire in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district in May, 2013.

The DSI later expanded the investigation, resulting in the latest raids in Bangkok and Samut Prakan on an order issued by DSI chief Paisit Wongmuang.

According to DSI investigators, eight of the locations were in Bangkok.

The Bangkok raids were conducted at Niche Cars Group, a company that imports and sells luxury vehicles, in Suan Luang district; the firm's Lamborghini showroom at Siam Paragon shopping mall in Pathumwan district; and two vehicle showrooms operated by STT Auto Car company in Huai Khwang and Watthana districts.

The other Bangkok locations were at the houses of Jubilee Line Co Ltd's executive and Niche Cars Group's car salesman in Bang Kapi district; and a home of an accountant attached to Benz Nakarin Auto Group Co Ltd, Niche Cars Group and Jubilee Line in Bang Kapi district.

The other location was another house belonging to Jubilee Line Co Ltd's executive in Samut Prakan's Muang district.

Niche Cars Group managing director Vittawat Chinabarramee was not available for comment.

DSI deputy chief Korawat Panprapakorn yesterday said the vehicles were imported through a system in which invoices and purchase documents were forged to understate the prices of the vehicles and presented to authorities to avoid paying high import taxes.

Pol Lt Col Korawat said individuals and companies embroiled in the illegal vehicle tax network are liable for harsh punishments.

The luxury cars impounded are being kept at their showrooms. The companies are also barred from moving the vehicles or putting them on sale.

Meanwhile, Dusadee Arayawuth, deputy permanent secretary for justice, said the raids were conducted to prevent the companies from selling the vehicles as well as finance companies from approving loans for people wanting to buy the cars.

The DSI probe indicated about 110 state officials were linked to the tax dodging network. The list of names has been forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission which will investigate them, Pol Col Dusadee added.

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