Illegal race: $630k Lamborghini to be forfeited

A court yesterday ordered that a $630,000 Lamborghini be forfeited to the state, after it was used in an illegal race in 2015. Indonesian Kevin Pratama Chandra, 24, was behind the wheel when he committed the offence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhongshan said the forfeiture was mandatory under the law. He said the car, which was bought under the name of a firm owned by Chandra's parents, had been seized by police.

Chandra did not turn up in court yesterday but his parents were present. Their son was jailed for two weeks, fined $1,500 and disqualified from driving for 18 months after he pleaded guilty on July 17 to dangerous driving and taking part in an unauthorised speed trial.

Traffic Police officers were conducting an operation against illegal racing along Seletar Link at around 11.30pm on May 8, 2015, when they spotted about 20 high-performance cars entering the area.

Chandra, food and beverage manager Koo Kwok En, 37, and their friends were part of this group. The drivers then parked their cars on the left side of the three-lane road.

Koo, who was driving his wife's Nissan GT-R, asked Chandra to race against him and the younger man agreed. About 45 minutes later, the officers saw the Lamborghini and the Nissan GT-R drive along Seletar Link towards Tampines Expressway. The two cars made an unauthorised U-turn and faced Seletar North Link before positioning themselves beside each other.

Chandra gave a signal to start the race and the cars accelerated rapidly, to the cheers of spectators along the side of the road. DPP Tan said: "The in-car camera in the Nissan GT-R showed that its speed was 219 kmh, which exceeded the speed limit of 60 kmh. The Lamborghini was travelling at a similar speed."

The two cars slowed down, made another unauthorised U-turn and raced each other again. The officers then stopped the pair for dangerous driving.

Koo pleaded guilty on March 28 to taking part in an illegal race, driving at a speed dangerous to the public and driving without insurance. On April 13, he was jailed for two weeks, fined $2,500 and banned from driving for 18 months. His wife's car was forfeited earlier this year.

Lawyer Rajan Supramaniam from Hilborne Law, who is familiar with such cases, said that when a car is forfeited to the state, it can possibly be scrapped or auctioned off later.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'Illegal race: $630k Lamborghini to be forfeited'. Print Edition | Subscribe