A Bentley “Stolen” in London Found in Karachi

By K S Venkataraman

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A bizarre story indeed: A Bentley Mulsanne luxury vehicle costing over $200,000, allegedly “stolen” from London was found in Karachi’s upscale Defence Housing Authority (DHA) residential area, originally developed for high-ranking retired Pakistani military officers. Many retired officers sold their homes at HUGE profits to private citizens.

In September 2022, the Customs Office in Karachi received a tip from a “friendly country” on the precise location — the street address in the DHA complex — of the Bentley. When Pakistan’s customs officials went to the upscale house, lo and behold, the Bentley was in the parking garage. In a story in Dawn, Imtiaz Ali reports this:


The officials asked the ‘owner’, Jameel Shafi, to provide the title for the vehicle. Instead of producing the papers, Mr Shafi stated that the vehicle was sold to him by one Naveed Bilwani with the agreement that Mr Bilwani would bear all liabilities to clear required documents from authorities before November 2022. As the “owner” could not produce the document of the vehicle, the customs department took possession of the vehicle.

Later, during investigation, Bilwani informed officials that he had only helped broker a deal between Shafi and another person named Naveed Yamin as a guarantor of payment and papers and Mr Yamin received cash from Shafi as payment against the vehicle.

n a later story Dawn tells that the 2014-model Bentley was imported in 2019 by the Bulgarian ambassador to Pakistan, who later sold it to a Pakistani, which is illegal because it circumvents a whopping 300% import duty for such luxury vehicles. A whole bunch of government officials in Pakistan’s customs department, DMV and other agencies are now caught up in the scandal. Once so many government officials are involved in a scandal, as it happens in that part of the world, nobody will be held accountable.

The expensive car had a microchip installed to track its location. If only any one of the people in this scandal knew to deactivate the microchip, this scandal would not have exploded the way it did.

London’s British Museum displays artworks the empire stolen from India during its colonial occupation. One wonders if Pakistan would remember this and keep the Bentley for display in Karachi or Islamabad. 


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