Kochi

Motor Vehicles Department awaiting documents on Monson’s ‘luxury’ cars

Activists of Youth Congress staging a protest in front of the KMRL office on Monday, demanding removal of former DGP Loknath Behera from the post of MD of the metro agency over his alleged links with Monson Mavunkal who has been charged with cheating. The activists symbolically “gifted” Mr. Behera antique-like materials.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) is awaiting documents pertaining to eight “luxury” cars found at the rented house of alleged conman Monson Mavunkal in Kochi to help the Crime Branch team, investigating the cheating charges against him, finalise their probe report.

The MVD findings will be crucial in taking the probe ahead. Personnel from the department’s enforcement wing and the Ernakulam RTO office (in its capacity as the registering authority) who inspected the vehicles expressed doubts about the veracity of the registration numbers of many of the cars and found prima facie proof of unauthorised alterations, it is learnt.

Among the fleet was a car which was much like a vehicle from the Porsche stable, which also bore the premium car’s logo. But its registration number was that of a Mitsubishi Cedia. “We have demanded documents pertaining to the car and its key, to identify its chassis and engine number. This will help establish its make and value,” said an official who is part of the MVD probe team.

Yet another high-end car was a red Ferrari, reportedly designed by Dilip Chhabria, celebrity car designer and manufacturer who was arrested earlier this year on charges of cheating and forgery. The car was yet to be formally registered, probably since it did not adhere to specifications approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

The car did not seem to be in running condition and was probably used for photo shoots. A few other cars parked on Mavunkal’s premises too were not in running condition. Among those that were operable were a Dodge that bore a Haryana registration number and a Lexus. All the cars could be operated outside the private compound only if there were proper documents and mandatory taxes and fees were paid, said MVD sources.

The ongoing probe will also verify whether any of the cars were discarded ones and their registration certificates surrendered for being scrapped. All cars, including those registered in Pondicherry (where road tax is just 1.50% of the car value), ought to have been registered in Kerala (where up to 20% of a car’s invoice rate is levied as tax) within a year of their being brought to the State, the sources added.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 10:41:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/motor-vehicles-department-awaiting-documents-on-monsons-luxury-cars/article36828397.ece

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