Transport department officials in Bengaluru on Monday seized over 10 luxury cars, which included brands like Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Porsche. Shockingly, one among them is registered in the name of none other than Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. The transport department observed many imported cars are plying scot-free in Bengaluru city and road tax on those cars are not being paid. Following this observation, the transport department, alongwith the traffic police, conducted a joint operation and seized over 10 super cars.
Several luxury car owners in Silicon City were found evading rules and plying with forged documents and cars without road tax paid. Officials found many cars parked in elite areas of Bengaluru like MG Road, Brigade Road, Vittal Mallya Road, etc during weekends. They initially noted the numbers of the cars to verify whether the owners of these cars have maintained proper documentation or not.
They found many irregularities like no road tax, import duty, false registrations, forged documents and few cars with documents of old owner. Yes, that is where Amitabh Bachchan comes into the scene. He sold his Rolls Royce Phantom few years ago which was gifted to him by filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. According to sources, Bachchan sold the Rs 3.5 crore worth Phantom in 2019 to Bengaluru based businessman Yousuf Shariff or Scrap Babu. He runs a real estate company named Umrah Developers in Bengaluru.
He is from Kolar Gold Fields and has acquired a lot of wealth. Few years back in a TV interview he had said that he has taken lease of scrap goods from different government factories, central government projects. But according to those who have seen Babu growing from zero to a millionaire says that he extracted gold from KGF scrap items which are used for gold mining.
According to officials, Babu bought the Rolls Royce Phantom from Amitabh Bachchan for a whopping Rs 6 crore though the value of the car is Rs 3.5 crore. He did not change the records to his name and continued to use the car. The car was seized while Babu’s driver was at the wheels in MG Road on Monday. Babu went to the RTO office and requested to release the car. But officials asked him to first register the car in his name, pay all the dues of road tax and only then will he be allowed to take it.
In most cases, pre-owned car dealers in Bengaluru buy cars for cheaper prices from Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai and other states and sell them in Bengaluru. Most of the time, documents pertaining to these cars are forged or do not have No Objection Certificates from relative states. The one who buys it can never know that he has been cheated with duplicate or forged documents, until he gets caught.
Speaking to News18, Naveen R, a resident of Jakkur off Kempegowda International Airport road who runs a pre-owned car showroom in Yelahanka, says that many celebrities from the North sell their cars to Bengaluru’s pre-owned car dealers through middlemen. “They don’t want to sell their cars in Mumbai because they don’t like their used super machines to be bought by locals. If they sell it to other states, people might not recognize that so and so car belongs to XYZ actor. And there is a huge demand for celebrity-used cars in Bengaluru. Usually, we sell it for a better price than the actual on road price. Not everyone forges the documents, but few do it because it involves lot of money. It’s a cash-rich business,” Naveen adds.
Earlier in February 2021, Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra, who is hitting headlines lately with porn movie production case, had to face hit and run charges. A car belonging to Raj Kundra was booked in a hit and run case in Bengaluru. A case of reckless driving and a hit and run case was registered with the Cubban Park traffic police station. A speeding high-end Audi sports car rammed into an auto-rickshaw, a car and a few motorbikes before fleeing the scene.
Police later learned that the car, Audi R8, is registered in the name of Raj Kundra, but was sold to a rich Bengaluru businessman’s kid. However, he had to receive the police’s notice.
In the latest case, police and transport department officials are discussing whether to send the notice to Amitabh Bachchan or not. “We are verifying certain factors. If the owner of the car furnishes purchase papers, original documents and gives an affidavit, we will not issue a notice to Mr Bachchan. But if the owner fails to provide documents, we will have no option but to send a notice to Bachchan sir,” says a senior officer from Transport Department.
Other two cars belong to JDS MLC BM Farooq and insurance validity is over for those cars.