File pic of cloned cars seized by police.
KUALA TERENGGANU: A total of 256 cloned car drivers have been blacklisted from 2015 to May this year for failing to appear in court, according to the Terengganu Road Transport Department (JPJ).
Its director, Zulkarnain Yasin, said all the drivers who were blacklisted would be barred from renewing their road tax and licence or conduct all other JPJ-related matters until their court cases were settled.
"From 2015 until May this year, 51 cases of cloned cars in Terengganu were resolved, and the drivers paid fines in court totalling RM384,900," he told reporters at the JPJ Terengganu Aidilfitri dinner here on Monday.
He advised people who bought cars at 50% below market price to check with JPJ in order to avoid being duped by car-cloning syndicates.
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"The inspection service is provided free by the JPJ's automotive engineering division.
"These syndicates are cunning. They claim each of their vehicles is sold at a low price because it is a used vehicle when it is actually a clone. The syndicate is also difficult to detect. As soon as they have closed a deal with the buyer, they will disappear and their phone numbers would no longer be in use.”
A June 29, 2016 report by The Star showed that Terengganu had also become a haven for syndicates selling Singapore cars with forged registration documentation.
Apart from the demand for luxury vehicles, Terengganu’s geographical location – far away from major cities where the cars they are “cloning” are to be found – is also a plus factor for the syndicates.