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Scrap Military Vehicles Used to Register Smuggled cars (21 Jul 2002)

MALAYSIA - In a scam that allowed smuggled and stolen vehicles from neighbouring countries to ply Malaysian roads, some officials allegedly assigned to them the registration particulars from scores of government military vehicles meant for the scrap heap or the auction lot.

The discovery was made after police found the registration details of the military vehicles to be linked to cars and four-wheel-drives which the military never owned.

The military vehicles, mostly trucks and Land Rovers, were auctioned off or sold as scrap metal by the Ministry of Defence under government procedures, revealed the Federal Criminal Investigation Department.

The particulars of these vehicles were then used to register stolen and smuggled vehicles from neighbouring countries in an attempt to make it appear that they were the vehicles tendered out by the Defence Ministry and converted to private use.

Officers are contacting Interpol in Singapore and Brunei to check if any of the tampered chassis or engine numbers belonged to vehicles there.