Talking to reporters, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Bipin Kumar Singh said a team of the crime branch seized 151 cars worth Rs 7.15 crore from the accused.
“The gang operated pan-India. The gang members used to purchase cars with BS-IV engines and change the number plates and chassis number. They would then get the registration of these vehicles done using forged documents and sell them in other states saying that they were damaged in floods,” he said.
The prime accused in the case had set up their office and godown at Shirdhon near Panvel in Raigad district, he said.
“The arrests were made from the end of January this year till the end of February,” Singh said.
The accused were identified as Shaban Rafique Qureshi (32), Anam Siddiqui (42), Vasim Shaikh (31) all from Mumbai, Manohar Jadhav (31), Prashant Shivararthi (26) both from Hyderabad, Gaurav Dembla (32) from Gurugram, Haryana, Rashid Khan (42) from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Chandrashekar Gadekar (31) from Pune, and Imran Chopda (38) from Ahmedabad.
“A machine procured from Hyderabad to generate new chassis numbers for the cars was recovered from accused Chopda,” he said.
An offence under various IPC sections, including 420 (cheating) and 465 (forgery), was registered against the accused at Panvel city police station, the commissioner said.
The police seized cars from different districts of Maharashtra and from other states- Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Punjab, where the gang members sold the cars at cheap rates, he said.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The government enforced new emission standards BS-VI from April 1 last year replacing BS- IV.