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Confiscated cars released to importers

Confiscated cars released to importers

WEDNESDAY, September 06, 2017
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The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has cancelled confiscation orders for 38 luxury cars that had been seized in May as part of an investigation into alleged import-duty evasion.

This was to allow the cars to be returned to three car import companies to keep while the probe was pending, a source at the Justice Ministry revealed on Wednesday. 
DSI deputy director-general Korrawat Panprapakorn recently signed the cancellation order so 17 Rolls-Royce cars could be returned to Millennium Auto Sales and Services (Thailand); 15 Aston Martins, one Ferrari and one McLaren could be returned to Heritage Motor Sales and Services; and four Maserati could be returned to Design MotorWork.
The decision was made by a team from the DSI and public prosecutor office. The team members said they were confident that, when the involved parties in Britain revealed the cars’ real prices, the inquiry could be finalised and the unpaid tax collected. 
Upon learning about this, executives at the ministry asked the DSI to submit the resolution record and a list of the names of team members who had agreed to the release the cars. This was so these people could be held accountable if the unpaid tax couldn’t be collected for some reason, the source added.
The source also said that officials in Britain had sent the manufacturing price of the cars to the DSI – not the purchase prices at showrooms – and the agency had not yet submitted the correct documents for the Customs Department to assess the unpaid tax.
The confiscation order cancellation took place after Seree Chinabarramee, president of Niche Cars Group, told a press conference in July that his company, the country’s leading distributor of super cars, has suffered Bt700 million in lost business opportunities caused by the DSI’s delayed inspection of 83 vehicles since May 18.

Confiscated cars released to importers
He urged officials to speedily conclude the probe so his business could go on as usual. 
The DSI later explained that there were grounds for suspicion that many cars’ declared prices didn’t match the real purchase prices. The company did not argue; it only asked the investigators to treat all car dealers equally in the probe.