Mumbai Police did a major crackdown on a pan-India racket. The gang of nine was involved in the illegal sale of cars with BS-4 compliant engines. The police have seized as many as 151 vehicles worth Rs 7.15 crore from the gang.
The gang members used to purchase cars with BS4 engines and change the registration plates and chassis number. They registered the same vehicles using forged documents and sell them in other states. Most of the vehicles were sold as flood-damaged cars.in various states across India. The prime accused in the case even opened an office and a godown of the cars at Shirdhon near Panvel in Raigad district as per the cops.
The police cracked the case in January and started making arrests towards the end of January. The last accused got arrested in February. The police have identified the accused as Shaban Rafique Qureshi (32), Anam Siddiqui (42), Vasim Shaikh (31) all from Mumbai, Manohar Jadhav (31), Prashant Shivararthi (26) both from Hyderabad, Gaurav Dembla (32) from Gurugram, Haryana, Rashid Khan (42) from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Chandrashekar Gadekar (31) from Pune, and Imran Chopda (38) from Ahmedabad.
The gang procured a machine from Hyderabad to change the chassis number of the vehicle. They used the device to emboss the forged numbers. The police have recovered the machine from accused Chopda. The cops have booked the accused under sections 420 (cheating) and 465 (forgery) at Panvel city police station said the commissioner.
Commissioner of Police, Bipin Kumar Singh to press,
“The gang operated pan-India. The gang members used to purchase cars with BS-IV engines and change the number plates and chassis number. They would then get the registration of these vehicles done using forged documents and sell them in other states saying that they were damaged in floods,”
The government of India enforced BS6 emission norms in India in April 2020. A lot of people got into a sticky situation due to the law. The court allowed the registration of the cars that were sold to the customers before 31st March 2020. However, the sale and registration of BS4 compliant cars and two-wheelers are now banned across India. The new rule was implemented to reduce air pollution and also increase the popularity of electric cars in India. Due to the enforcement of the new laws, many manufacturers have announced that they will sell only petrol cars and the diesel cars have almost vanished from the sub Rs 10 lakh price bracket.
This is one of the biggest seizures of cars in terms of volume and value in India. Many of these vehicles were unregistered and were brand-new. The unsold cars were auctioned by the auto manufacturers to the highest bidders to scrap them. However, the owner of the company who bought them sold them to another company owned by one of the members in the gang. The cops also say that the gang was successful in selling a few cars too. They police team is currently investigating the matter and are trying to trace the sold cars.