A few days ago, Mumbai Police arrested famous car designer Dilip Chhabria for frauds and various other charges. The crime branch unit of Mumbai Police seized 14 DC Avanti cars from the brand’s manufacturing unit in Pune, Maharashtra. The team also seized about 40 units of the imported engines. Police have also launched a manhunt for Dilip’s son Bonito and his sister.
Mumbai Police team on Sunday said that they found documents on import of the engines, manufacture of the number of cars including the customised or modified ones and dual registration papers of several vehicles. All the cars seized from DC’s Pune facility have dual registration.
According to the police, the Dilip Chhabria Designs Pvt Ltd have documents that show that they imported 400 engines to use in the Avanti. However, only 127 units of the Avanti were ever manufactured and sold. Out of these, sixty-eight cars are used by himself and his family and all these cars had dual registration numbers. Many of these cars were also used for fraudulent financing by taking loans from non-banking financial companies.
The Mumbai crime branch’s criminal intelligence unit or CIU is currently probing the fraud case against the ace car designer. After the raids at his factory, the cops found 19 other high-end cars and bikes that were parked inside the premises. The exact ownership details of these vehicles are not known yet.
Chhabria’s custody extended
The court has granted police custody till 7 January after the initial date of 3rd January. Until now, the police have found that Chhabria and his company availed loans from several non-financial banking companies by posing as customers wanting to buy DC Avanti. The NBFC released loans averaging around Rs 42 lakh per car on around 90 cars out of a total of 127 units sold by the company. In a few cases, the company also availed loans after selling the vehicles to the customers.
100 crore scam
Initial probe shows that the scam is massive and fraud of about Rs 100 crore has been done. Dilip Chhabria’s son Bonito and his sister Kanchan and company directors Choclingam Kathiravan and Setharaman Selvara are currently wanted for the forgery and the frauds. Dilip and his company also allegedly cheated an Indian cricketer and a Bollywood actress but police will investigate these cases separately as stated by the police in the remand application.
After conducting raids at the Dilip’s workshop at MIDC, the police found out that an Avanti car with engine and chassis number was also registered in Haryana. Police are on looking for his son Bonito Chhabria but his whereabouts are not known.
How did the police unearth the scam?
Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze of criminal intelligence unit (CIU) received a tip-off that a DC Avanti was spotted with a fake registration number. After receiving the information, the team of the police officers laid a trap to catch the car. The vehicle was caught on December 18 and was immediately seized by the police. After the initial investigation, the cops found out that a car with similar engine number and the chassis number is registered under a different number in Haryana.