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Who needs a Lamborghini in Bangkok anyway ?

Hundreds of luxury cars have been impounded by the Thai authorities who are investigating a stolen imported car scheme from UK, linked with a tax fraud network implying high ranked custom officials

Olivier Languepin

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Have you noticed that the usual crowd of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsches is getting a bit thinner lately  in front of your favourite hangout in Thonglor ?

This might be because your average “hi-so” teen driver is actually driving a stolen car to run its errands between its new “lavish” condo in Thonglor and the latest EmQuartier opening.

Thailand’s shady luxury car business is currently being investigated for tax dodging and importing stolen cars from overseas, as the number of vehicle impounded is growing steadily.

According to the Bangkok Post latest report, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is on its way to investigate as much as 10,000 imported supercars as it widens its crackdown on a tax avoidance network.

This is on top of DSI efforts to crack down on vehicles whose owners and/or suppliers allegedly sought to evade paying a proper amount of tax.

108 Customs officials probed

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has investigated 108 customs officials over allegations about suspicious low vehicle prices that these officials agreed to accept.

It is estimated that the country loses billions of baht each year because car dealers reported grossly underestimated price for vehicles imported in Thailand to avoid a hefty tax rate ranging from 100 up to 300%.

Thailand's shady route of imported luxury car is being is under investigation

Thailand’s shady route of imported luxury car is being is under investigation (Image : The Nation)

According to Pol Lt Col Korawat, luxury car importers usually engage in false declarations to avoid paying high taxes.

For example, a Lamborghini imported in April 2010 and seized from Niche Cars Group was declared at US$105,000, or about 3.4 million baht, which is subject to a 328% tax, or 11 million baht.

But based on the Italian price tag of €286,000, or 12 million baht, the car should be subject to 41 million baht tax and so the tax paid to the government falls short by 30 million baht.

The Bangkok raids were conducted at: Niche Cars Group in Suan Luang district; the firm’s Lamborghini showroom at Siam Paragon shopping mall in Pathumwan district; and two vehicle showrooms operated by STT Auto Car company in Huai Khwang and Watthana districts.

More than 40 luxury cars stolen from Britain

MORE THAN 40 luxury cars have been stolen from Britain and sent to Thailand, according to Thai and British authorities.

Raids at nine locations on May 18 resulted in the seizure of 122 luxury vehicles from Niche Car Group showrooms. On May 24, 38 luxury cars were confiscated after raids at six locations.

As the vehicle importers allegedly quoted much lower prices, it was estimated that the cars – including brands such as Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Ferrari – evaded the high customs duty of 300 per cent which could mean the country suffered Bt3 billion in lost revenue, according to The Nation

Thailand's shady route of imported luxury car is being is under investigation

Whose Porsche is this anyway ?

The raids are the result of the DSI’s lengthy inspection and probe of a trailer truck transporting luxury cars that was engulfed in a fire in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district in May 2013.

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