The Kedah Customs Department have confiscated a total of 81 luxury vehicles, believed to have been smuggled into the nation, according to a New Straits Times report. The cars, believed to have been imported illegally from Thailand over the course of four months, are said to be worth a total of RM7.5 million with excise duty factored in.

Said smuggled vehicles were seized at a number of locations around the state including Durian Burung, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Langkawi. The list of smuggled luxury cars include a Porsche Boxster S, Lexus RX 300, MINI Cooper, Nissan Fairlady (350Z) and an unspecified Maserati and Jaguar.

A total of 15 suspects were arrested during the crackdown – one of them identified as a 50-year old government servant. “The suspects are believed to have smuggled in the vehicles from the neighbouring country and used fake registration number on them… they later sold the vehicles at cheaper price than the market price,” said department director, Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir.

The case now falls under Section 135 (1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 – if convicted, the involved individual will be slapped with a fine of up to 10 times the seized item and/or a three-year prison sentence.

In an unrelated incident, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have seized a total of 153 vehicles, worth RM13 million, during an operation in Terengganu. A number of the smuggled cars originated from Singapore, whereby forged paperwork were provided. This allowed for “cloned” vehicles to be sold at much lower prices in the market.

A new system to help curb the sales of cloned vehicles is said to be devised by the Road Transport Department come June 1. According to reports, said system will be integrated into the current vehicle insurance system, thereby allowing officials to keep track of vehicles that are written off and whether or not said vehicle had its documents cloned later on and sold.