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Super Rich Indians Abandon Super Cars En Masse To Avoid Arrest In Massive Smuggling And Tax Fraud Crack Down

Tyler Durden's picture


One of the benefits of living in a developing country is discovering that pretty much nothing is ever as it seems. The latest news out of the Telegraph confirms that, by reporting on a crack down in a massive stolen-car scam which has seen the country's millionaires abandon their supercars, among them Bentleys and Aston Martins, literally on the streets of New Delhi in droves: up to 400 cars are suspected of being part of the tax-scam and theft ring. It turns out that these same cars, which were sold to top Bollywood film stars, and a couple of Indian international cricket players, were stolen from around the world, then resold by the top car dealer as second hand and falsely claimed the cars were being supplied tax-free to diplomats in order to avoid India's double taxation of luxury vehicles. "More than 40 cars are now impounded in a government car park. Models parked in the lot include Porsche Panameras, sold in India for £250,000, a Bentley Continental Supersport, costing £350,000, several Aston Martin Rapides, with a price tag of £290,000 and a Maserati, costing £170,000." But while the dealers were merely providing an unmet, if illegal, service, the ultimate enabler of this behavior is naturally the Indian Central Bank, which despite attempts to cool inflation, has created massive pockets of wealth in a society that only compares to China (and the US of course), in the schism between the few uberwealthy, and the masses of less than privileged lower classes.

From the Telegraph:

According to officials from India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the alleged scheme to cheat its tax authority out of millions of pounds centres on a British-Indian car dealer in Britain who is accused of arranging shipments to India where demand for luxury cars is insatiable. In some Indian cities businessmen have formed groups to bulk buy Mercedes cars direct from the manufacturer because they are too far from an official dealer.

Detectives are now seeking permission to take their investigation to London where a number of Britons are suspected of involvement. They are also preparing to approach North Korea and Vietnam to uncover more information about the roles played by their diplomats in New Delhi.

Investigators believe they were lured into the scheme by dealers to exploit diplomatic tax concessions. Duties on imported luxury cars are 100 per cent of their import value – doubling their price.

A New Delhi-based car dealer, named as Sumit Walia, was arrested earlier this month and charged with importing luxury cars on forged invoices. Detectives claim he has defrauded the customs authorities by passing off new cars as second-hand to save 40 per cent on import duties.

They suspect some of the cars may have been stolen in Britain, France, Singapore and Japan before being imported to India.

One businessman bought a Bentley Continental Supersports from an employee of New Delhi's North Korean embassy, which is not known for its high-paid diplomats or luxury fleet. The deal was allegedly brokered by Mr Walia, one Directorate of Revenue Intelligence official told The Daily Telegraph. Another was imported by a Vietnamese diplomat and sold to a different businessman. "Our investigators suspect around
300 to 400 luxury cars have been imported on fake papers and sold in all
major cities across India using the same modus-operandi," said the
revenue intelligence official.

And in other news, we are confident that if the data were actually collected, the number of Indians on foodstamps would be currently at a record. Just like in the US.

h/t Scrataliano


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Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:37 | 1326187 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

For real Gone in 60 seconds, bitchez.  Maybe BollyWood will do a third cut of the film, that would be freakin awesome.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 21:31 | 1327262 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

you mean like 'Gone in 60 seconds dog millionaire'...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:38 | 1326193 3.7.77
3.7.77's picture

Following in our footsteps, yay.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:29 | 1326431 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

India has been that way forever. Talk to any Indian person and they will shake their head at the pervasive corruption there. Our corrupt bastards simply think bigger and try to steal more

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 15:28 | 1329860 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The black hole of Calcutta was created by the East India company...the first wave of global kleptocrats of the neo-industrial age...They created a tradition of rip offs that would make the 'Thugs' was so efficient...They left a plunder trail...that local Indian entrepreneurs have tried to match and never achieved...But they've tried very hard...these new thugs of the NWO of plutocrats parachuted into hyper solvency on the back of "outsourcing"; that has made them fat, uber-corrupt and short term sleight of hand shit-bags. Who have nothing to envy to their older brothers; members of the five families of NY...Its a viral disease, this brand of American exported plutocracy...which will come home to roost one WS and the City where it all began. Its called global capitalism of the most predatory type.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:43 | 1326194 monkeys.pick.bottoms
monkeys.pick.bottoms's picture

Honestly, I believe this is just the beginning of surprises. Every day brings more and more of the unusual. I am waiting for Germany to build 22 coal-powered power plants and Al Gore to be arrested for a global warming swindle.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:44 | 1326195 deepakshenoy
deepakshenoy's picture

Indians on foodstamps? We don't have no stinkin' foodstamps.You get NOTHING if you're unemployed.

In the guise of fighting inflation, our central bank is still flooding us with liquidity by purchasing dollars and increasing reserves. Impound them, we'll just pay for more aston martins.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:41 | 1326197 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

Investigators believe they were lured into the scheme by dealers to exploit diplomatic tax concessions. Duties on imported luxury cars are 100 per cent of their import value – doubling their price.

Really? You think so? The government was demanding the full purchase price as a tax and people were trying to get around it? What a fucking joke.  

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 21:34 | 1327268 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

That's cheap, for Asia. Try Singapore...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:43 | 1326201 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

they are pikers when compared with usa CONgreff.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:46 | 1326203 Mercury
Mercury's picture

The intersection of state controlled, crony capitalism and stupid tax policy...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:44 | 1326205 IdiotInvestor2
IdiotInvestor2's picture

India is actually 3 countries in 1. One segment is very small, but extra-super-rich. Another is a US sized segment that can be truely called "developing". A much bigger portion is really really poor, malnourished and ignored by main-stream media here and by most Indians themselves.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:07 | 1326288 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Every country is like that. Even the US. I could show you some places here in the grand ole' US of A that would embarass you. We have starving and malnourishment as well. The difference is that the US Government is great at hiding that little detail.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:29 | 1326432 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

True, probably some of my tweeker cousin's houses you're talking about.  That being said, I have yet to see anyone in the US that results to huffing scrap wood smoke through a gourd and blowing it into rat holes for their evening meal. 
Saw it on NatGeo.  And if you think those cocoa-paste smokers down south got it bad, you ain't seen shit.  These poor bastards get BORN into this job.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:39 | 1326458 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Starving Americans with their cell phones and cable TV. Yeah, sure. Don't even compare US "poverty" with the third world. Those places might embarass you, but they would be a huge step up for most Chinese and Indians who have no electricity and indoor plumbing in their little huts.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:07 | 1326746 Nom de Guerre
Nom de Guerre's picture

It seems rather strange that the so-called "poor" in the U.S. are the most morbidly obese.  Most proles in the U.S. have no concept of what poverty is.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:32 | 1326834 anony
anony's picture

Depends on the Clintonian definition of, "poverty".

Poverty for anyone in the disUnited States is upper middle class to the sub-Sahara Africans, Ethiopians, Haitians, and Indians.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 15:54 | 1326246 augie
augie's picture

faber is a genius.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:03 | 1326278 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

The imbalances continue to grow and only benefit those who have no right to be benefitting what so ever-- the problem with crony capitalism is that natural selection becomes retarded.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:08 | 1326289 Corduroy
Corduroy's picture

What freaks me is that countries like the UK give AID to india...

India should not get any 'general purpose' aid as it does not need it.

Western powers trying to peddle influence by peddling aid gets up my ring piece

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:25 | 1326411 Parth
Parth's picture

The aidfrom developed countries is not significant. And there is a whole segment of India that could use trillions in aid but nobody really can help. Its just overpopulated and underdeveloped. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:30 | 1326419 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

Have they tried hope? Change?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:47 | 1326494 Parth
Parth's picture

Hope? Change? Yep 25% of the permenantly ignored have joined a Maoist movement to inflict change they can believe in. Few people know, but the greatest threat to India is not Pakistan, or China or pollution - its the Maoist movement. Its huge. Whats funny is the Maoist leaders behave just like all elites- they want big cars too. Humanity is so predictable. LOL.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:09 | 1326591 Corduroy
Corduroy's picture

Its not the level of aid given, it is that there is any given at all.

India already gets enough aid from the developed world via job relocation

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:20 | 1326618 Parth
Parth's picture

True. Our elites need Bentleys and Maseratis too. The American middle class is truly abandoned.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:11 | 1326328 doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture

cmon guys..give these elites a break...after all that they have done for ya..

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:18 | 1326374 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

ORI - Since you are recently finding yourself on foot, I have an '86 Ford Escort I'll sell you.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:18 | 1326622 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Hw about a '72 Vega?  It's got Keystone Klassic rims, a bitchin Pioneer Supertuner w/carpeted 6x9's in the back, and a set of Tune Ups velcroed to the dash.

This is the "Party On" car Wayne and Garth wished they could have afforded.  I'll even throw in the dyed feather roach clips on the visors.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:48 | 1327445 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Bullshit colonel. Hot rodders snatch up 72 vega's like horny aliens snatch up anal probe victims.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:51 | 1327457 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I hope you're kidding, cause I just made it up.  Tell me you're kidding.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 23:16 | 1327516 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Nope. They put big block 454 and 427's and mountain motors in them but no i'm not kidding.

Drag racing is all about apply x amount of horsepower to y amount of weight. The don't have a long enough wheel base to be stable at 8 and 9 second brackets but most people go for 10 second bracket cars.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 06:47 | 1327859 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I'll be damned.  Good tidbit.  Thanks.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:21 | 1326377 Parth
Parth's picture

You got to really appreciate the ridiculousness of India's evolution to a Maserati or Bentley or Ferrari on the street.

In 1947 Gandhi won independence for India with not even tailored clothing and proclaimed a new ideal for the country. There were but 3 or 4 car models available since then- an Austin Morris, fiat & jeep and something called a Standard-herald. Thats it 3  or 4 models of cars. And the superich went in a chauffered Austin Morris (a bigger one). Change came with a Suzuki mass produced and then opening slowly to international car companies everyone jumped in the last 10 years. Whats amusing is that the roads are still the same. Imagine driving a Maserati on a crowded street at no more than 20mph for 80% of the useful life of the car. That too chauffer driven. Check youtube for some Indian traffic vids. What is the point?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:34 | 1326443 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

20 mph stop and go can be accomodated by a 6 hp briggs and stratton engine for about a gallon of gas per day.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:52 | 1326525 Manny
Manny's picture

The big car was not based on Austin Morris but on Morris Oxford model III. And in India it  was called the Ambassador. And for decades on end there were not more that a few choices. But things have changes in last 15 years. And now as far as automobile manufacturing is concerned India has moved far ahead of even its own expectations.

The speeds are awful in city traffic. Its better to have a 2 wheeler than any kind of sedan. And that goes for any city in India. But the infrastructure for inter-city travel has improved  greatly over the past decade. And although the entire road network is still not upto US standards.

These cars are usually bought not for their speed but purely as a status symbol!The more renowned the car the more likely people will flock to it. So when BMW X1 was recently introduced in India the first 3 months production was sold out in the pre-bookings itself.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 00:19 | 1327607 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

For the foreigners...not you Parth, try this:


It's all nuts here. India and western technology do not mix!


Wed, 06/01/2011 - 01:23 | 1327672 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

It's not working out so good for japan and the rest of the world either. OH MY god I can't believe you drove around all those motorcycle gangs. Don't you know indian people are violent!!! LOL

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 15:33 | 1329886 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the indian rope trick is for the local elites...that's for sure... but outsourcing is giving a new twist to this "rope trick"...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:30 | 1326417 lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

Let us not forget the venerable Tata Truck being driven at breakneck speed with its horn employed as the main safety device.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:34 | 1326451 reddweb
reddweb's picture

foodstamps ? f the poor - no foodstamps in india. There is ration, and thats about it. You have to earn to feed yourself or beg (very lucrative in some temple towns...millonaires are made from begging i kid u not).

Thank god they dont do free handouts in india...cant imagine what that would do (probably will bankrupt india a day or two)



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:55 | 1326524 _Alekhine_
_Alekhine_'s picture

Technically the rural employment guarantee schemes are a form of welfare. 


They've also have had waiver of farmer's loans a few years ago. Not to mention the  generous farm subsidies. 


It's the Congress party's way of buying votes as well.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:04 | 1326558 reddweb
reddweb's picture

no free handouts - like in US. They have to work/earn in india. Buying votes ? agree India doesn't have the sophistification as US (foodstamps, pork barrel etc) - but believe me, the ponzi financial schemes(FED, Wall.St), the defense/pharma/oil industry corruption (with politicians) etc that happens in US are so grand, mind-numbing -that people cant comprehend it. You only hear small-time corruption. What did in last two/three years - Indian corruption couldn't have done combined in 1000 years. Hmmm, let me see...can you compute trillion dollars in rupees - good luck ever india seeing that kind of money anytime soon?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:13 | 1326605 Corduroy
Corduroy's picture

I figure you have not read about the Commonwealth Games in India last year. A pure example of government / corporate curruption at its very finest.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:34 | 1326452 camoes
camoes's picture


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:51 | 1326500 Parth
Parth's picture

I do not understand curry jokes. Be honest isn't curry flavor delicious and addictive? Here in Silicon Valley its all the rage on any Farmers Market- curry chicken. Many of my Native born Americans have switched from pot roast to curry chicken. Thats culinary evolution. Now only if you give up your SUV.....and drive the Indica!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:28 | 1326651 camoes
camoes's picture

I have some very good Indian friends, but they stink of curry, it's like curry is pouring from their skin and they add curry in all food, everything has curry! I like curry chicken once in a while but's like jalapeños and mexicans

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:56 | 1326722 fiddler_on_the_roof
fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

you are right. But see spice is addictive - others will probably have to recalibrate their noses to lower sensitivity.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 19:19 | 1326981 Parth
Parth's picture

curry smell at lunch is an aphrodisiac for ur apetite. Plz curry rules!!!!

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 15:35 | 1329896 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the trick is to have a shower after cooking curry! If you don't you smell of tumeric for sure! If you have indian friends who take showers they will smell fresh as will their curries!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:40 | 1326480 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

If they want cars that bad ill steal the cars, the boat and make my way to India.

All payments must be met with 24k gold and by weight.

Each car gets its weight in gold ( ill pay for gas ).

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:47 | 1326495 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Every Indian Village will be able to easily be trained and put to work making Tatas for America. Once USA's generation or two is raised around these tiny cars, there would be no need for those uber rich cars. Only then will India claw itself out of the mud as much as we did after our own Model T ford came out.


I'll throw a Tata into the bed of my pickup truck as a spare. No problem.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:56 | 1326531 Manny
Manny's picture

You mean the Tata Nano ? There are more that a few models.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:04 | 1326569 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

That doesn't get me my bodyweight in gold.

I guess i have to compete with old cars: how would you like to buy a 1967 camaro?

2 tonnes of gold? Seems like a deal.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 16:46 | 1326509 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

This is poetic is so many many ways.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:00 | 1326556 unky
unky's picture

the Panamera costs less than €100,000 to build

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:09 | 1326589 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

You are not helping.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 15:35 | 1329910 falak pema
falak pema's picture

You cant do what DSK is alleged to have done to his maid in the back seat of a Panamera or Cayenne. That is a terrible problem for a true Oligarch! Unless you're an expert in yogi style kama sutra!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:10 | 1326595 pcrs
pcrs's picture

The gvt is not so much worried about the theft of the cars, but more about the dealers avoiding their theft on their resale. I don't expect these cars will go back to the original owners.

Gvt has 'impounded' the cars. Sounds so much better than stolen. Maybe the original thieves should impound them as well the next time.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:10 | 1327353 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

See 'Mexico'. They have special 'plates' they issue, legally, for stolen American cars there. The locals tell me it's the second best business to be in down there. Number one is, well, off the records too...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 17:55 | 1326721 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

So, India has a 40% import duty on the cars.  How does that square with WTO rules?  India has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995.  How many times have you seen that China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc. have huge import duties on products?  Why does the U.S. trade with these cheats?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 23:09 | 1327499 vxpatel
vxpatel's picture

How stupid are you? Do you think the US has fair and free markets?Hopefully you are a greeter at WalMart and go to church every Sunday.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:16 | 1326781 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

time to de-lever-raj

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:32 | 1326826 MrBinkeyWhat
MrBinkeyWhat's picture

No way. Way? No way. You think so?


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 18:35 | 1326840 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I think India also has capital/currency controls on paypal and credit cards.  Freelance programmers in India can get paid by paypal but I think they can only take out so much.  What is the inflation rate in India?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 19:07 | 1326920 nufio
nufio's picture

i dont think india imposes inbound capital controls.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 19:21 | 1326985 Parth
Parth's picture

inflation is 9 to 10 but interest rates are high too.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 20:26 | 1327133 vzhyk
vzhyk's picture

What poor country are you talking about? India buying gold!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:18 | 1327365 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

That man made alot of money, alot of money.  Get ready to see this in the US for sure.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:21 | 1327384 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

"India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence" Isn't that just a leetle beet oxy-moronic? Fuck me, but 'revenue intelligence' is NOT something I'd associate any government with. Especially our own. IRS=Irrational Retards Stealing. Irresponsible Rectal-cranial-inverted Scuzzballs. I'll Retire Serenely(knowing the peon tax payer is covering my medical, dental, and hooker spending-sprees; also, know as a pension)...(sorry, the homebrew is kicking in).

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:32 | 1327400 Abhishek
Abhishek's picture

ZH comments on some topics is really shallow and reveals a lack of decent research and understanding.Such was the case with your article on Green Industry and again here in case of India.

India does not have food stamps.There is the Public Distribution System which give food at subsidized prices too all sections.There is a Food Security Act in the offing.

Your comment on Central Bank enriching rich Indians is again misleading.The huge riches that you see are due to massive corruption and crony captilalism.India's central bank is one of the better ones in the world though not without flaws.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 23:04 | 1327492 vxpatel
vxpatel's picture

Most poor Indians are dark, so the fair skinned Indians don't consider them human...if they are poor and starving it's OK b/c for the most part they are untouchables...which is worse than being black in the American South during the early 1900's.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 23:48 | 1327570 vamsy
vamsy's picture

Didn't like this article as it mentions about food stamps, the concept which does not exist in India. India is an excellent case study of fraud going to insane levels of height and openness. Indian markets are completely based on insider trading, massive media influenced manipulation of stock market and excessive political corruption. You will be surpised to see EVERYTHING that happened in US that led it to this situation is being simulated below are just few of the examples:

1) Massive lobbying in the political arena (lobbying  was and still is illegal in India)

2) An IMF agent working as a planning commision chairman

3) System is heavily tilted towards Banksters. Until recently interest on Savings Accounts was almost zero with inflation in double digit numbers and the worst part is that interest rates on treasury are close to double  digit levels

4) Banksters and Businessmen putting immense pressure for deregulation

5) A new version of 401 K (Called New Pension Scheme - NPA) which puts money in risky investments. Though the scheme was a flop but there was a massive media publicity on the scheme (all the media in India is foreign owned)

6) As mentioned above all the major media is owned by foreign companies serving their own interests. The articles that come in these media channels are a complete shit. (There was once coverage about some politician's missing pet dog as breaking news for a whole day - believe me!). There is an emphasis on mass entertainment instead of educating the public on general issues. The most worring aspect is that most of the important and revolutionary decisions that might cause controvercy are not even published by the media.

7) India's own Subprime just took place (Microfinance). Shocked at how easy it is to rob the public

8) Central Bank recently gave permissions for Credit Default Swaps

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 15:43 | 1329925 falak pema
falak pema's picture

welcome more and more to the world oligarchy order! Jai India!

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