The Ropar police has unearthed a state-wide vehicle scam worth crores of rupees, allegedly operated in collusion with the Transport Department offices in Fatehgarh Sahib, Tarantaran, Sangrur and Moga.As many as 93 vehicles running illegally in the state, and valued at Rs 4 crore, have been seized so far, SSP Ropar Swapan Sharma disclosed on Saturday.Police has also recovered fake Aadhar cards from the two accused arrested so far in the scam, in which car dealers in Delhi, Hoshiarpur, Sangrur and Patiala were also involved.A large organized network was engaged in the purchase of second-hand vehicles from one state and would sell them to car dealers of another state by changing the chassis and engine number. Many of the vehicles seized had pending loans against them in their states of origin, said Sharma, adding that several vehicles were found to have been registered on a single fake Aadhar card.
The scam came to light with the discovery of a large batch of second vehicles bought from Maharashtra at throwaway prices. Nearly 5000 Toyota vehicles were picked up by car dealers of different states, and around 500 of them ended up in Punjab.The organized gang would bypass all government rules, procedures and taxes, as well as submission of necessary documents, and get them registered as new, with the collusion of clerks in the district transport offices.Sharma said that initial investigations have revealed certain loopholes in the centralised data created by the concerned department of the union government, as well as flaws in ‘Vahan 3’ and ‘Vahan 4’ software, which the gang was manipulating to their advantage.Operative since the past two years, the gang had been duping people mainly from the middle income group. Ropar police is in touch with the transport department and other districts to gauge the extent of damage done by this scam.