DSI determines most luxury cars imported illegally

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BANGKOK, June 18 – The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) today announced that 264 of 300 Mercedes Benz sedans it inspected were illegally imported.

The DSI has set up a special centre to check luxury cars whose owners have applied for inspections to ensure their legality. A total of 548 luxury cars were lined up for inspection today.

DSI director general Tarit Pengdith said owners of luxury cars, worth more than Bt4 million, were urged to voluntarily have their vehicles inspected.

He said representatives from seven state agencies will meet later today to verify the status of a Rolls Royce owned by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.

If the Rolls Royce was not reassembled in Thailand, a physical check is unnecessary, he said.

He said a luxury car owned by Phra Khru Palad Sithiwat, abbot of Wat Pai Lom, could be illegal as its parts were imported to be reassembled in the country.

If the serial numbers of the engine, body and gears are the same, the reassembled car is illegal, he explained.

He added that the DSI was compiling documents to take legal action against two businessmen for illegally importing the luxury cars which recently caught fire in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

The DSI will seek a court order to arrest them in the next few days, or they should give themselves up to the authorities as soon as possible, he said.

The incident in Nakhon Ratchasima where several luxury cars were ablaze enroute to the Northeast from Bangkok has sparked a nationwide scandal on illegal imports of luxury cars and tax evasion.