Transcontinent heist: Bentley’s long journey to Karachi

A luxury sedan, Bentley Mulsanne, was recovered from Karachi on Saturday by Pakistan Customs under 'mysterious' circumstances after a British law enforcement agency alerted the authorities.

The vehicle, which seemingly breezed through all radars, was earlier reported stolen in London.

It was found parked in the driveway of a residence in the posh DHA locality of Karachi.

Customs was informed of the vehicle's presence in the city, following which an investigation was conducted locally to trace the stolen luxury sedan.

After the investigation confirmed that the stolen car was parked inside a Karachi residence, the officials raided the location with a court order and seized the Bentley.

The vehicle costs more than $300,000 and it is the brand's largest and most expensive handcrafted sedan.

The presence of the luxury car in Karachi is itself a mystery as many were wondering how did it reach Pakistan. Surprisingly, Sindh Excise and Motor Vehicle Department also issued a local number plate to the vehicle, putting a question mark on the efficiency of the department.

Officials took the owner of the residence Jamil Shafi and the broker who sold him the vehicle into custody after the house owner failed to provide adequate documents.

The registration of the vehicle has also been forged, said Customs officials. "The registration number of the stolen vehicle is BRS-279."

According to the FIR filed by Customs officials, a tax of more than Rs300 million was evaded due to the smuggling of the stolen vehicle.

On the information provided by the broker, Naveed Balwani, teams have been formed to arrest Naveed Yameen, who is said to be the head of an international car smuggling racket.

As per initial information provided by the suspects, Balwani brokered the deal between Shafi and Yameen.

Sources told The Express Tribune that there are already cases registered against Yameen in Karachi and Hyderabad.

Customs sources said that for the registration of such luxury vehicles, one needs sales permission from the Ministry of External Affairs, NOC from Pakistan Customs and receipt of payment of duty and taxes.

However, the Sindh Excise and Motor Vehicle Department registered the stolen vehicle without fulfilling all the legal requirements, raising eye eyebrows whether the excise officials in Sindh were also part of the scam.

Sources further said that an inquiry against the involved officials was also on the cards.

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