Wednesday, 5 November, 2003

New turns to old in Malaysia car scam

Jonathan Kent
BBC, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian police and customs officers have arrested two men, one local and one from Britain, in connection with a car importation scam.
The duty on luxury cars in Malaysia can be up to 300%
According to officials, brand new luxury cars had their milometers turned forward to put extra distance on their clocks.
The practice known as "clocking," is familiar enough - a car's distance reading is lowered to raise its resale value.
The scam uncovered in Malaysia works the other way round.
It aimed to pass off new cars imported from the UK as second-hand.
Duty on new top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz and BMW models can be up to 300%.
They can cost over $160,000 here.
But passing a car off as second-hand can reduce the import charges by tens of thousands of dollars.
The arrested men have not been named.
Officials say they seized forged registration documents and blank invoices apparently from British distributors.
They say the men were in regular contact with a number of car dealerships in the UK.