JOHOR BARU • Police in Johor are looking for a Singaporean said to be the mastermind behind a car cloning syndicate selling luxury vehicles for as low as RM3,000 (S$1,000) each in Taman Perling.
The revelation yesterday came after the police in the southern Malaysian state arrested two suspects, one of them a Singaporean, following a tip-off that led to the seizure of six vehicles worth RM800,000 on Tuesday.
"Initial investigations showed that one of the suspects is a Singaporean. Both of them did not have any criminal record and will be remanded for 14 days to assist investigations," said Johor Baru North OCPD Assistant Commissioner Mohd Taib Ahmad.
"We are on the hunt for another four suspects, including the mastermind, believed to be a Singaporean," he added.
ACP Mohd Taib said that the vehicles were due to be scrapped in Singapore.
He said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to bring in vehicles from Singapore about three months before the expiry of their certificates of entitlement and sell them to Malaysian buyers.
"Among the vehicles confiscated were a Nissan Murano, BMW 523i, Toyota Previa, Honda Civic FD and a Honda Airwave.
These were sold (at) between RM3,000 and RM10,000 each to buyers," he told a press conference yesterday.
Among the various other items seized were Malaysian and Singapore vehicle plate numbers, fake road tax certificates, a computer and a printer.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 135(d) of the Customs Act 1967, which carries a maximum four-year jail sentence or a fine of up to 20 times the value of the seized items, or both.
He added that police had confiscated about 13 "clone" cars since January.
In late January, police in Johor claimed to have broken up a car cloning syndicate that had been operating for some time in Malaysia with the arrest of a Singaporean housewife in Taman Laguna, near Danga Bay.
State Customs Department director Ramli Johari said following the arrest that the suspect was believed to have been involved in running the syndicate that was bringing in scrapped vehicles from Singapore.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK