Beware : A Malaysian Man Got Conned into Buying a Smuggled Car

1 A cry for help from Bard Rahman, a car buyer, went viral on social media recently after he was slapped with a hefty RM116, 000 tax bill on top of an outstanding car loan of RM134, 000 that had to be repaid. All despite the fact that Malaysian customs foreclosed his car because the tax documents of his vehicle was forged by used-car dealership that sold him the car. It also came to our understanding that before purchasing the Mistubishi Grandis 2 years back, he had already headed over to the local JPJ center beforehand and confirmed that the car he was about to purchase was brought into Peninsular Malaysia legally and had all the outstanding taxes paid off. The car was originally from Langkawi before it was brought into Peninsular Malaysia. After two years, Malaysian customs foreclosed the car and Bard is now stuck because he has no car and is required by law to pay the outstanding taxes on the car on top of his car loan. On the 21st of October 2011, Bard Rahman purchased a Mistubishi Grandis, registered with the number plate WVX9409 at a used car dealership, Sanyu Auto Sdn Bhd, address Lot 317, Bt 12 3/4, Jalan Cheras, 43000 Kajang, Selangot at a price of RM144, 000.00. Like most dealerships, the dealership in question arranged and handled his car’s loan from Public Bank at a sum of RM134, 000.00. To his knowledge, the car was originally from Langkawi and was brought in to Peninsular Malaysia and the dealership assured him that the car was brought in legally. They even provided him with tax documents to validify their statement but to be sure, he checked the authenticity and verified their claim at the Bangi JPJ branch before he finalized the purchase. The officer in charge ran a search in their system and told him that the car had indeed been brought into the Peninsular legally and all relevant taxes had been paid. He was convinced, bought the car and used it for two years. However, on the 21st of October 2013, the Royal Malaysian Customs foreclosed his car. An officer, Pn Ewa Bt Mohd Yussoff, explained to him that his vehicle was under suspicion for tax evasion because of a K1 form forgery by a group of car smuggling syndicates. Because of that, he had to surrender his car to the customs for investigation and reported the matter to Public Bank. He was puzzled and at the same time, taken aback at how a forged document managed to slither it’s way through the Royal Malaysian Customs without being detected. The documents were so well forged and put together that it managed to play the Royal Malaysian Customs for a fool. So much that JPJ dared verify and confirm that all taxes have already been paid. Even the banks were fooled. Perhaps there were employees in the customs, JPJ and bank that were working together with the syndicates. There simply isn’t any other explanation. As of now, the case regarding his car his still under investigation by JKDM Putrajaya and he has personally met Tuan Wong, the head of the Prevention and Assessment Division who told him that there was nothing Bard could do but pay off the outstanding taxes to get his car back despite knowing that he was not responsible for this and that the syndicates are the ones who should paying. The syndicate who was responsible for the fiasco has yet to receive the hammer from the law for their crimes. They are still free and are at large while the victimized consumers who fell for their trick end up with the short end of the stick, with debts in taxes summing up to RM116, 000 on top of a car loan whose re-payment is still ongoing. Since the foreclosure of his car, Bard has postponed payments for his car’s loan in hopes to find the best possible solution to his predicament. However, the bank failed to consider his predicament and had his name blacklisted in a credit report issued by the national bank (Bank Negara Malaysia). He has since made a formal complaint and appeal to the manager of his bank at Taman Maluri, Mr Teoh CH but to no avail. To the best of anyone’s knowledge the bank was partly responsible for this fiasco. Their failure to identify the illegitimacy of the car’s documents is one of the reasons Bard is in his current predicament. It is only logical to assume that they would have to admit the mistake on their part and hold themselves responsible, if not, partly responsible for the incident and offer some sort of reimbursement or leniency. Bard also managed to get in touch with the Bank through their online banking portal but was given similar responses and a warning to settle the tax payment due to the customs. Shortly after, he made a police report of the incident at the Klang Police Station but there were no follow-ups and no actions of any sort were taken. The fact that authorities care little about or give little thought to commercial crimes as such is disappointing and rock-hard proof that our country’s justice system needs serious amending. As of now, there are no laws to protect the interests and welfare of the victims of these crimes. Bard also tried filing a complaint at the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism in Putrajaya but was turned away with the excuse that the problem was not something they could solve and that it was out of their jurisdiction though their department exists to assist and protect the rights of helpless consumers like him. Two years have since passed and the case is still ongoing. It has become a problem that constantly grows, like a cancerous tumor that cannot be removed. Bard is facing difficulties in getting a loan to purchase a house or even car because of his blacklisted name in the credit report by the national bank. Presently, Bard has been forced to move in to his father’s house with his wife who is also having it equally rough. Her name has been placed as the guarantor for the car loan and she too, has been blacklisted and can’t get any bank loans. Given their financial state, Bard and his wife can no longer afford to have any more debts with banks. Bard has truly been unfortunate. He bought the car for his family because he needed a mode of transportation, not to be ripped out from financial stability and thrown into a pit of financial debt. We hope justice will prevail for Bard and his family because he has been wrongly punished and tied down by the very laws that were made to protect him while the real criminals walk free. In addition to that statement, JPJ, The Royal Malaysian Customs and Public Bank should take responsibility for the incident and compensate Bard for his harsh time, which took place because of their sloppiness and disregard for customers. That being said, how could something like this get past the customs and the banks? Bard Rahman implores the help and council of his fellow Malaysians. He seeks help from anyone who might have a path for him to venture out of his predicament. Sources : Bard Rahman  

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