Luxury vehicles are a magnet for car thieves around the world. In a shocking incident, a Bentley Mulsanne saloon stolen from the United Kingdom found its way to a posh bungalow in Karachi, Pakistan. Customs officials recovered the car in Pakistan but how did it end up on a different continent altogether? Here are the details.
The Pakistani officials informed the U.K. National Crime Agency about the stolen car. The Collectorate of Customs Enforcement (CCE) in Karachi conducted a raid after it received a tip-off from the UK National Crime Agency about the Bentley. The UK National Crime Agency spotted the parked Bentley Mulsanne sedan outside the house in the city’s DHA area, a posh residential neighbourhood.
According to the local media in Pakistan, the thieves did not remove the tracking device from the Bentley. They did not turn off the tracker, which is how the UK authorities got hold of the car and zeroed in on the exact location of the vehicle. The UK authorities kept tracking the vehicle and gave the details to the Pakistani government.
During the raid, the Pakistani officials found a Bentley with a Pakistani registration and number plate. However, upon inspection, they discovered that the chassis number of the Bentley matched the number of the Bentley that was stolen from the UK. Pakistani authorities seized the vehicle after the owner failed to furnish supporting documents.
The owner of the car was arrested. Also, the broker who sold the car to him was arrested by the Pakistani authorities. Officials said that the registration of the vehicle was forged.
Car smuggling racket unearthed
The raid uncovered a racket that used to smuggle cars from eastern Europe. The racket used documents of a top diplomat of an east European country. According to the officials who filed the FIR, a tax of more than 300 million Pakistani Rupees was evaded due to the smuggling of the stolen vehicle.
There are many such rackets that operate across international borders. In India, most stolen cars are cut into pieces and the spare parts are sold off separately to ensure that no one can track the thieves. Many cars stolen in India also end up in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.
While many modern-day cars offer factory-fitted tracking devices, it is always a good idea to install a hardwired tracker that remains hidden under the dashboard. There are many such devices available in the market that can be wired into a car’s ECU. Such devices notify users about engine starts, car speeds and if the car goes beyond a certain pre-fixed point. These devices can also remotely switch off the ignition of the vehicle.
Some of these devices can also remotely disable the engine. Owners can even set up a GPS fence, which turns off the engine automatically if the vehicle crosses a particular point. These devices are available for all kinds of vehicles and one has to give a nominal subscription fee to keep the GPS system and Internet activity in the device.