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Our Tax Dollars at Work-Feds Seize Illegal Land Rovers

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Link w/ video.

 

Story:

Story:
 
 
 

BALTIMORE —Federal authorities said they recently came across illegal cargo at the Port of Baltimore, and one of the items they intercepted is the target of a nationwide crackdown.

"They can get upwards of $100,000 for these vehicles. Somebody's thinking they are buying a 1975 Defender, when really they are buying a 2005 Defender that's been illegally altered," explained Robert Hunt, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Authorities said the find is another crushing blow for the lucrative black market business of illegally importing and reselling fake, vintage Land Rover Defenders.

That was the case with the Defender found at the Port of Baltimore. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, federal inspectors at the port in April seized the British-made off-road utility vehicle when they noticed its VIN was altered.

The U.S. allows vehicles that are 25 years or older to come ashore, even if they don't meet U.S. road safety standards, like a classic car exemption.

"What the importer did on that one is he manipulated that Defender to make it look like it's older than 25 years so that he could legally import it," Hunt said.

The newer-model Defender was destroyed at a Maryland salvage yard this week because the vehicle does not meet U.S. road safety standards, particularly the one requiring airbags, officials said.

Officials said the Defender is one of dozens intercepted at seven other ports across the U.S. this year, from Philadelphia to Tacoma, Wash.

 



Read more: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/feds-seize-illegal-cargo-at-port-of-baltimore/21493292#ixzz37faJJKlb

 

Why did they have to destroy them??  What other options were there? :popcorn

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Why did they have to destroy them??  What other options were there? :popcorn

post #3 of 12

We'll let 40,000 people a year cross the border with Mexico illegally and won't send them back, but God forbid you import a car without airbags!

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

We'll let 40,000 people a year cross the border with Mexico illegally and won't send them back, but God forbid you import a car without airbags!

 

Why not use them as fed vehicles for undercover work? 

post #5 of 12

I get why they aren't just accepted into the car market and understand why they aren't just returned back to the point of origin, but...

 

I'm kind of baffled why these cars aren't (at least) parted out so they can be useful in some way.  

post #6 of 12

They have been illegally modified to no standard. Who would be responsible for the risks?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
 

They have been illegally modified to no standard. Who would be responsible for the risks?

 

Probably whoever owns it. They know what they are getting.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

 

Probably whoever owns it. They know what they are getting.


Obviously not:

""They can get upwards of $100,000 for these vehicles. Somebody's thinking they are buying a 1975 Defender, when really they are buying a 2005 Defender that's been illegally altered," explained Robert Hunt, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Authorities said the find is another crushing blow for the lucrative black market business of illegally importing and reselling fake, vintage Land Rover Defenders."

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
 


Obviously not:

""They can get upwards of $100,000 for these vehicles. Somebody's thinking they are buying a 1975 Defender, when really they are buying a 2005 Defender that's been illegally altered," explained Robert Hunt, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Authorities said the find is another crushing blow for the lucrative black market business of illegally importing and reselling fake, vintage Land Rover Defenders."

 

Just because he says it doesn't mean it's true. They are trying to circumvent the law to get a car that they want but cannot because it does not mean current US standards. Do you really think someone is importing a $100,000 car from the UK without having some idea of what it is? A car that originally sold for half of that? It has a value of $100K because it is not available here and the only way to import it is with VINs from an older car.

post #10 of 12

*shrug* the problem with sending them to someplace without strict road safety statutes,  Africa frex, would be that they could be re-titled and re-imported within a few months.

 

Thought experiment for you: how would you feel if the feds interecepted and destroyed a few containers of  knockoff ski-wear that was in excess of import quotas?

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

*shrug* the problem with sending them to someplace without strict road safety statutes,  Africa frex, would be that they could be re-titled and re-imported within a few months.



 



Thought experiment for you: how would you feel if the feds interecepted and destroyed a few containers of  knockoff ski-wear that was in excess of import quotas?


 




It's a beautiful thing, the cars have to meet govt. standards but the govt. itself has none.
post #12 of 12
Hah! This has been going on for years. I went to look at a Range Rover about ten years ago on Long Island. The guy owned a few. He also had just had an illegal import defender type that somehow the Feds found out about, seized it and crushed it.

The article is misleading though. Sure, once able to get 100k, but prob not now since you are able to import 1989 and older ones. Also, you can legally import them if you have them modified by a licensed importer. All that could be done for way under 100k. Theres an outfit in Maine that "builds" them from the chasis up using some quirk in the law to have them legit. Those will cost you over 100k but its essentially new and improved.

Plus, what a joke. People who buy these know what they are. No one confuses a 1975 vehicle with a 2005. It's merely "can we get away with it"? This market has existed for a long time. Only someone who'd fall for the "im stuck in the airport Send money" email would believe this.

I dont believe it's the airbags. The Range Rover was the first suv with airbags and abs and that was 1995. Theres all sorts of govt regs down to the stickers on the doors that show airpressure and vehicle weight that have to be there. Emissions is a big one as are the lights. The 500 that were imported to the US in 1993 had an external roll cage ecause without it they wouldn't meet roll over specs.

But anyone who buys a vehicle with an illegal vin and takes it on the road is a fool. Insurance companies are the real police for this and are wise to vin numbers, esp with Land Rovers. You will be paying damages for the rest of your life if you get into an accident. Most of the ones illegally imported are used on peoples property only. Even that is risky if a passenger gets hurt you're screwed.

Much ado about nothing unless this is the first time you're hearing we have standards for vehicles. Everyone involved in this game knows the rules.
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