Since January last year, 1,290 cloned cars have been seized by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) in operations throughout the country. Most of the impounded vehicles were luxury cars smuggled from Singapore, Bernama reports.

According to JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad, brands included BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, and the value of the seized vehicles were worth more than RM40 million. He added that most of the vehicles were seized in Kelantan, Terengganu and Perak, and vehicles were usually sold for between RM30,000 and RM40,000 each.

He said the modus operandi of the cloned vehicle syndicates was to sell the vehicles through a cash sale after reaching an agreement with individual buyers via online ads.

“Funding institutions or banks will not approve the purchase of cloned cars. So, when one is offered a luxury car cheaply by paying in cash, be wary because it is highly likely that the vehicle offered is cloned and you end up as a victim,” Ismail explained.

“The operation to eliminate the cloned-car syndicates will be carried out continuously. The JPJ will not compromise with those involved,” he said. Ismail urged owners of cloned vehicles to hand them over to the JPJ or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) so that they can be considered for a lighter punishment.

He stated that besides being a high risk item as the car was not covered by insurance, possessing a cloned vehicle was illegal under the MACC Act and the JPJ Act.