ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16

Aston Martin: the mystery deepens

By Chandani Kirinde

The controversial super luxury 75 million rupee Aston Martin sports car is still shrouded in a top-gear mystery. According to a Customs official, a Customs investigation is being held into the import of this car as the importer had allegedly undervalued the vehicle when making a declaration, The Sunday Times learns.

The vehicle had been imported from Singapore late last year by a Colombo garment factory owner. The official said the Customs released the vehicle on a guarantee though they found it had been undervalued.

He said the inquiries had not made much headway since the local agents or the foreign seller had not yet responded to queries by the Customs. The importer paid Rs. 12 million as customs duty for the super luxury vehicle but the actual figure might be much more, he said.

As part of the investigation, a statement had been recorded from the importer. This particular model of the Aston Martin is valued at more than Rs. 20 million and with the 240 percent duty, the price is staggering Rs. 75 million.

Presidential Media Co-coordinating Director Chandrapala Liyanage when asked about speculation that the Aston Martin was being used by the President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa, denied it, saying the president or his son had nothing to do with this vehicle.

Mr. Liyanage said the CID had been called in for investigations and as part of the probe, detectives had questioned a Sunday newspaper reporter who wrote a story about the import of a luxury Aston Martin for a VVIP’s son. The CID on Friday also interviewed Motor Traffic Chief B. Wijayaratne regarding the registration of this Aston Martin. Mr. Wijeratne said he would check the computer records and provide the information to the CID tomorrow.

That Aston Martin…

Aston Martin is one of the most famous names in the motor industry being popularised as the classic sports car used by the world’s most famous secret agent -James Bond 007- commencing in the 1960s. In the latest Bond movie “CASINO ROYALE” Aston Martin unveiled the DBS model.

The DB 9 (coupe) the model that was imported into Sri Lanka has a maximum power with an acceleration 0- 100 km (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds and a maximum speed 300 km/h (186 mph)and its starting price is around £109,750. The DB9 engine is 6.0-litre V12.

According to their web site Aston Martins are hand-built cars, made to order. The DB9 is the most thoroughly tested and engineered car in Aston Martin's history. This car is also one of the most technically sophisticated cars in the world.

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