9 held for selling phased-out cars

The Central unit of the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch has arrested nine people who used forged documents to sell Maruti Suzuki cars with BS-IV engines meant for scrapping. The team has seized 151 cars worth ₹7.15 crore.

The accused have been identified as Aanam Aslam Siddiqui (42) from Chembur, Rashid Khan Ahmed Khan (42) from Jabalpur, Imran Yusufbhai Chopda (38) from Ahmedabad, Shaban Rafeeq Qureshi (32) from Santacruz, Gaurav Subhash Chandar Tembla (32) from Gurugram, Manohar Prasad Vyankatrao Jadhav (31) from Hyderabad, Waseem Mohammad Umar Shaikh (31) from Bandra, Chandrashekhar Dyandev Gadekar (31) from Pune and Prashant S. Narsayya Shivrarthi (26) from Hyderabad.

Assistant Police Inspector Rajesh Gajjal of the Central unit received information that cars due to be scrapped were being sold at less than half the cost price citing that floodwater had entered them. In the last week of January, a team led by senior police inspector Nivrutti Kolhatkar raided a lodge at Shirdhon in Panvel where deals were being struck to sell the cars and made its first arrest. Over one month, the other accused were held and cars were recovered from Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Punjab.

“In March 2020, the Centre asked automobile companies to scrap cars with BS-IV engines to cut pollution levels. The companies had to auction them for being scrapped via tendering,” Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Bipin Kumar Singh said.

The main accused, Siddiqui, of Auto Auction India in Chembur, bought the cars on the pretext of scrapping them from Automative Manufacturers Pvt Ltd in Nerul. “The company dealt in Maruti Suzuki cars and had a yard in Panvel. The accused rented the lodge in Shirdhon and sold the cars there. A total of 407 cars were sold as scrap, we are investigating how many vehicles the accused purchased,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Pravinkumar Patil said.

The company had removed the chasis number, but the accused purchased a machine from Aurangabad and welded fake chasis numbers on all the cars. “On some cars, the accused placed number plates of cars in scrapyards and used their papers. They forged papers using fake chasis numbers and got cars registered with the regional transport offices of different States. We have seized the machine used to create the fake chasis numbers, fake invoices, and rubber stamps and laptops used in the crime,” Additional Commissioner of Police B.G. Shekhar Patil said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 4:19:10 PM |

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