LAHORE: The local dealer of a known international car brand in Lahore has been booked by police in several cases for committing monetary fraud with the customers.
Around 15 people had lodged complaints in different police stations of the city against the Porsche Centre Lahore Performance Automotive Pvt Ltd owner Syed Abuzar Bokhari, claiming they had given him advance amounts to buy new Porsche Taycan 4S cars, but did not get any vehicle.
The FIRs available with Dawn state Mr Bokhari had received around Rs50 million in advance from them, giving them a specific time for the delivery of cars.
However, they alleged, when they approached Mr Bokhari to get the vehicles, he told them that he could not deliver the cars and they could take their money back. The dealer then gave them cheques worth millions of rupees for the amounts they had deposited with him, the complainants said.
However, on submitting with the banks concerned the cheques were bounced, they regretted. They pleaded action should be taken against Mr Bokhari for receiving money from them and failing to deliver the promised vehicles.
The complaints were submitted with different police stations, including Ghalib Market, Gulberg, Sarwar Road and Naseerabad and cases were registered against Mr Bokhari.
A senior police official, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn the cases were registered against the suspect and investigation into the scam was on.
He said the suspect might have left the country and the police had sought the assistance of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for his arrest.
One of the complainants, Mian Mohammad Ali Moeen, who had paid Rs5 million in advance for an all-electric Porsche Taycan, told Dawn that he had paid the amount to Mr Bokhari in January 2020 when the car was present at the dealership.
“I was asked to wait for a month and a half for the car delivery and I agreed with the dealer,” he said.
He said when he went to get his car on the promised date, the dealer told him that he could not deliver the vehicle because of the coronavirus-related lockdown.
“I was asked [by the dealer] to wait for a freshly imported car that would cost him around Rs2.5 million cheaper as new taxes would be in place by that time,” he said.
Mr Moeen said he again agreed with the dealer, but the car was still not delivered to him.
“After failing to get the car, I went to Bokhari in June 2020, who offered me a refund, saying the car was not coming,” he said.
He said he was later informed by Mr Bokhari that as the main dealership in Dubai had gone bankrupt, he could not pay him the amount back.
He said he had filed a court case against Mr Bokhari through his lawyer and also complained to Porsche AG, who after receiving several other complaints of similar nature against the dealer cancelled his company’s distribution licence.
Mr Moeen said he had also lodged a complaint with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for recovery of his money.
Meanwhile, Porsche Pakistan issued a clarification saying the reports about its CEO owing car booking money to anyone were false and all the registration money was received in the account of Performance Automotive Pvt Ltd (Porsche Pakistan) on behalf of Porsche AG as their appointed representative.
The clarification also states that Porsche AG was refusing delivery of the vehicles to the Pakistani customers for two years.
It further said the Porsche Pakistan was in a legal battle with Porsche AG for this “illegal” refusal on all legal forums.
The statement claimed that the delay was caused due to Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE’s alleged understanding with a rival local party “an influential and controversial business group” that wanted to have the distribution rights for Pakistan.
“Porsche Pakistan and its legal team is fully available for any concerned parties or investigative authorities for any information or clarification they may require,” it concluded.
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2021