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 Post subject: Rs 1400 million worth luxury Mercedes-Benz cars for VVIPs
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:06 am 
Rs 1400 million worth luxury Mercedes-Benz cars for VVIPs
Four arrive, 10 to come


Million dollar cars for VVIPs

By Amantha Perera
@ Sunday Leader / 6th February 2000



The government has imported four luxury Mercedes-Benz cars valued at over Rs 400 million to be used by VVIPs. The four S-550 class vehicles arrived at the Katunayaka International Airport on an Emirates charter flight on January 30. The four vehicles were brought to Colombo during the night.

The Sunday Leader learns that 10 more Mercedes Benz cars have been ordered by the government. If they are also brought in, the total deal will cost a staggering Rs 1400 million.

The import of each of the bullet proof vehicles costs at least Rs 100 million. The bullet proof exterior and air freighting are likely to have added to the costs. The bullet proof sheeting will add approximately another Rs 10 -15 million to the cost. Air freighting usually adds 15 to 20 per cent on the showroom price depending on the port of destination. The vehicles have been air-freighted from Germany.

The imports come in the backdrop of a finance ministry circular which prohibits the import of luxury vehicles by government departments and ministries without the authority of the secretary to the finance ministry.

Contacted by The Sunday Leader, officials at Diesel and Motor Engineering Co. Ltd. (DIMO), the local agents for Benz, neither confirmed nor denied that such an import had taken place via the company. "The question should be asked from the government, not from private businesses," they said.

A local businessman who has made millions in commissions from arms deals and power projects too is driving a Benz of the same model.


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