• Sep 30th 2007 at 2:03PM
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In Thailand, exotic car theft is a pretty common occurrence, and thieves are pretty sophisticated about it, too. First, they make off with the vehicle's important components. Then, after the police seize what's left, the criminals purchase it at auction at about 15% of its value. This is "car laundering," and local officials have caught on to the ruse. Now, rather than auction cars off to the people who stole them to begin with, the government will simply crush what's left behind. Here's an example.
In June, Thai officials seized a Ferrari 456GT that was stripped of its ABS brakes, transmission, wiring systems, and exhaust. In proper condition, the car would be valued somewhere between 30 and 40 million Baht. In its stripped state, it likely would have brought under Bt 5 million at auction. If the original thieves were to re-acquire the car at that low price, and then restore it to working order with its own stolen parts, it could be sold at a tidy profit. So the government decided to make an example of the GT and sell it off as scrap. Enter one heavy excavator, exit one Ferrari 2+2.

It's a shame, really, but Thai authorities are serious about efforts to dissuade car laundering. At the very least, thieves won't be flipping this one for a quick buck...er...Baht.

Thanks for the tip, Gregg!

[Sources: The Nation, WreckedExotics]

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