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New Renault Duster stolen from Chennai plant by two employees – Sold for Rs 6 lakhs

In a perfect con job, two staffers of Renault Nissan Automobiles India Pvt. Ltd. swapped used vehicles for two brand new Dusters worth Rs 25 lakhs right under the noses of security guards at the company’s Tamil Nadu plant.

Two Renault Nissan technicians, P Marimuthu alias Mohmad Asharaf, 28 and M Arun Kumar, 27 have been arrested for attempting to steal two brand new Renault Dusters from the company’s manufacturing facility in Oragadam.

File photo of Renault India plant. For representation only.

These two employees have been working with the company for the past 7 years. They have even sold one of the stolen Dusters to a person named Kumar for Rs 6 lakhs and were on the look out for a buyer for the second vehicle when the police swooped in and arrested the duo.

Their modus operandi was simple. They forged gate passes, installed fake number plates and brought in two used cars into the company premises. The usual practice is that security guards note down registration number of vehicles coming in and going out of the plant. The duo then swapped the number plates of the old vehicles onto two brand new Duster SUVs and drove away with them.

File photo of Duster production line at Renault India plant in Chennai. For representation only.

The company only got to know about this on January 22, 2018, when two new SUVs were missing from company inventory. The new Duster SUVs were at the company yard till January 7, ready for delivery to company showrooms; but seemed to have gone missing thereafter.

Further investigations revealed that the two technicians, Mohmad Asharaf from Kundrathur and the other, M Arun Kumar from Tondiarpet brought in two worn out vehicles into the company premises and switched number plates with the new Dusters.

This was easily done since the security guards only noted the registration numbers of the cars coming in and going out but not the make, model or even the condition of the cars. The two mechanics have been arrested and the two Dusters seized. The brown and silver Dusters sport fake registration numbers of TN10AJ9283 and TN01AV2244 while further investigations are underway.

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