Luxury cars sold by concealing the fact that they are mortgaged
The Rural police have busted a racket which was involved in fudging of official records at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) level to facilitate the resale of new luxury vehicles to unsuspecting buyers by concealing the fact that they had heavy mortgages on them.
Circle Inspector, Attingal, M.I. Shaji, said the records of at least four new vehicles were falsified in the past six months. This could be just the tip of the ice-berg, he said.
The racket involved the business development manager of an automobile finance company, field inspectors of a private detective agency tasked by the firm to verify the authenticity and repayment capacity of loan seekers, vehicle showroom staff who procured temporary registration for newly sold vehicles and Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) officials who issued them permanent registrations.
The police have named one Anil of Murukumbuzha as the main accused in the case. He had used falsified bank statements, fictitious addresses, fake driving licenses and electoral identity cards, and photographs of his acquaintances in the Gulf to avail himself of vehicle loans.
The police suspect that he influenced field inspectors of the detective agency to authenticate the fake documents he had submitted. After availing himself of the vehicle loan and taking delivery of the vehicle from the showroom, the suspect forged the temporary registration permit to show that the vehicle had no mortgage on it. He then presented the fake temporary registration to the RTO authorities.
The police said the RTO (Attingal) had issued the suspect permanent registration numbers for the vehicles without cross-checking details. The permanent registration certificates showed the vehicles had no mortgage on them. The police said the vehicles would have remained untraceable had they been used for sabotage, crime or terrorist activities.
The vehicles thus bought were luxury SUVs and sedans costing more than Rs.12 lakh. The accused used a set of middle men to sell the brand new vehicles at a little less than the original price. The case came to light when a diligent RTO official in Karunagapally noticed the fraud when a buyer arrived at his office to re-register the vehicle.