They say that when something is too good to be true, it probably is. The Star reports that a syndicate has been luring people to buy cloned luxury cars online at prices three times lower than the market value, and that these “good deals” have been ongoing for six months.

But all good things come to an end, too. The syndicate was recently busted after the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized 153 of the vehicles valued at RM13 million at various locations in Terengganu.

“The vehicles, previously declared as total losses in the country they were smuggled from, were sold for between RM20,000 and RM50,000 in Malaysia. This caused our government a loss of RM7 million in unpaid taxes,” said JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad.

He added that some of the cars were brought in illegally from Singapore and used fake road tax. Cloned cars also typically have forged documents, chassis and engine numbers. Singaporean cars come with a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) that’s valid for 10 years, after which the car must be scrapped or exported if the owner doesn’t bid for a new COE. Malaysia does not allow cars to be imported from Singapore.

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You have one? Ismail urged owners of such vehicles to surrender their vehicles either to the JPJ or MACC. “Owning these vehicles is against the law and dangerous because it is not covered by insurance. Under the Road Transport Act, we will ask for owners of seized cars to relinquish their ownership and put the vehicles up for auction,” he said.

Those involved in the business of cloned cars are being marked by more than one agency. Three people in their 20s were recently arrested in the Klang Valley for acting as middlemen between the syndicate and buyers. MACC’s intelligence division di­rec­tor Datuk Azam Baki said those found to be involved and in possession of cloned cars would be investigated under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009.

“Under the MACC Act, the suspect can be jailed not less than 20 years and subject to paying a penalty fee. They can also be investigated under the Penal Code for possessing illegal documents,” he added.

Remember, when something is too good to be true, it probably is. Spotted any “good deals” recently?

To filter out illegal cars and scams, each car dealer and direct seller on our car classifieds website are required to pass a strict identity verification process before their ad listings can be posted.