• Jun 8, 2006

In India, car smugglers are apparently a good deal more patient than we can ever recall hearing of in the States. In a case that's less 'Gone in Sixty Seconds' and more 'Gone in Sixty Hours', a man named Ramadoss made it his m.o. to purchase vehicles in Malaysia and Singapore, then dismantle them piece by piece, shipping them to his operation in Chennai (formerly Madras), where he would reassemble them. Doing so saved Ramadoss a mint on customs charges, as he had to pay just 20-25 percent (versus a stifling 118 percent tax). Of course, a bit of elbow grease was required to make money - Ramadoss and his crew sliced up everything, including chassis and bodies using laser cutters, only to re-weld them together at his garages in Chennai for sale to unsuspecting customers.

A police raid of the man's all-too-literal chop-shop turned up 17 vehicles, including everything from a MINI Cooper to a Mitsubishi GTO (read: '3000GT') and an unspecified Mercedes-Benz.

No word yet on what fate will befall the Hardest Working Man in Auto Smuggling, but he has admitted to his crimes and made some financial reparations.

[Source: Mumbai Mirror]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "well it's a '49 '50 '51 '52 '53 '54 '55 '56
      '57 '58 '59 automobile"
      • 8 Years Ago
      I Accept all the comments above. In India the politicians in hand with some of the local big guys in auto industry are trying everything to avoid facing real competition. The car when it is imported will be twice of what it costs in the original country. So the companies open their own factory in India and then join hands with these same politicians ...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Agreed. Reduce tariffs and find that prices are lower, value to the ordinary person is higher and there is less bureaucracy to burden the ordinary citizen. If tariffs were reduced to a reasonable level, nobody would need to import chopped up cars. What the chop shop importer does is not immoral. It is illegal to money grubbing bureaucracy and the protected and non competitive Indian auto industry.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Import duties help curb globalization. They also keep countries independent and maintain high wages.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Okay, when it’s profitable to purchase a car in a different country, used frigging laser welders to dismantle, ship and then reassemble the cars for resale, then perhaps, just maybe, your taxes are a smidge high.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I gotta say I agree with #2. In my opinion, import taxes are bullpoop, and any efforts towards circumventing them are worth it.
      gbh
      • 8 Years Ago
      For every one the catch, there's probably 3 more.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmmm, how would you like to be involved in an accident with a jigsaw puzzle Mercedes? How safe can a car be that has an x number more of chassis/roof chop-shop-welds that it was ever designed to? Yikes, no thanks.

      On the flip side, to put things into perspective, in a country where the vast majority of traffic is consisted of large two stroke tricycles and mopeds/bicycles it probably doesn't matter that much...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Reminds me of the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time."