PETALING JAYA: A major nationwide crackdown is under way to weed out cloned car syndicates that are causing the Government to lose over RM100mil in tax revenue.
Besides enforcement, Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad said there were also plans to use embedded smartcode radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in road tax discs to curb the problem.
“The Government is losing millions in tax revenue,” he said.
“We are looking at implementing a smartcode tag for all vehicles to prevent car cloning.”
Other measures include introduction of a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system in the middle of this year whereby foreign cars that are above five years old can be traced if taxes are not paid.
Since the syndicates were detected last year, a total of 506 cloned cars have been seized by JPJ where losses in tax revenue amounted to some RM30mil.
On the department’s newly formed 25-member special squad to tackle the problem, Ismail said the squad would focus its attention on Kelantan, Terengganu, Negri Sembilan and Perak.
“There are still between 2,000 and 3,000 cloned cars on the road and we aim to go after them,” he added.
Ismail noted that clone car syndicates were under pressure and would move their operations about to avoid detection by the authorities.
Cloned luxury cars usually involve scrapped vehicles from Singapore, taking on the identity of a Malaysian-registered vehicle or that of a vehicle from Singapore.
The process involves changing the engine and chassis numbers, and making cloned road tax discs, and car grants with details input into JPJ’s system.
Last May, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission arrested four suspects, two of whom were JPJ officers in Negri Sembilan, after more than 10,000 blank road tax discs were smuggled out of the state over the last two years.
A total of 1,500 car grants had also been issued without authorisation.
Meanwhile, a check on social media revealed that Singapore-based companies are offering cloned cars ranging from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Peugeot, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan from between RM4,500 and RM30,000.
The dealers even assure buyers that the cloned cars come with cloned documents, including cloned road tax discs from between RM800 and RM1,000 depending on the car model.