SEREMBAN: A local syndicate forged the signature of a top Customs officer to dupe people into believing that the group is authorised to sell luxury cars seized by the department.
The scam came to light on Friday when a businessman, who said he bought a Mercedes Benz for RM42,000 from the syndicate, met state Customs officers here about the car.
The businessman, who said he had paid RM10,000 as deposit, also produced a letter purportedly signed by Customs deputy director-general (prevention) Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid, who is also chairman of the Customs’ Public Tender Committee.
Abdul Rahman, who is based in Putrajaya, said he and Negri Sembilan Customs Department director Ismail Ibrahim had lodged separate police reports over the matter yesterday.
He said the department had never used the services of a third party to dispose of seized luxury cars.
“We also do not conduct direct transactions with the public,” he said.
He said the public should refer to the open tender advertisement which appeared on newspapers and follow the proper procedures in securing the deal.
At least 310 seized luxury cars from eight states would be tendered to the public.
“When it comes to public tenders, we are very strict and even I cannot help to secure this or that car,” he said.
He added that all state directors had been told to draft a special letter to enable the public to view the cars to prevent any abuse of the tender process.
Abdul Rahman said initial investigations revealed that at least three men were involved in the syndicate, and he expected similar scams in other states.