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Petronas arm facing RM260m suit over contraband bikes - Yahoo News Malaysia

10/22/13 1:09 PM

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Petronas arm facing RM260m suit over contraband bikes

The Malay Mail Online 2 hours 1 minute ago

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 A subsidiary of national oil giant Petronas is facing a multi-million ringgit suit for allegedly selling off superbikes that did not have approved permits (AP) to a local superbike maker. The firm, Momoto Sdn Bhd, is suing Petronas Technical Services Sdn Bhd for RM260 million for alleged breach of contract in the deal, which centres around nearly 130 Petronas FP1 superbikes plus the blueprints, according to a report by The Malaysian Insider. The news portal claims that Momoto discovered that the Customs and Excise duty for the 129 motorcycles, totalling RM29 million, were not paid by Petronas Technical Services despite having bought the entire fleet durin a tender exercise in 2011. The superbikes were first developed in 2002 when Petronas hooked up with Sauber Petronas Engineering to build the racing machines, mostly in the United Kingdom. A total of 150 were built, but never made it to the showroom for sale despite earlier plans to commercialise the motorcycle. It did, however, enter in the MotoGP circuit when it teamed up with four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty to form team Foggy Petronas Racing. The team competed from 2003 to 2006, when it bowed out after struggling to compete with Japanese manufacturers. Development and production of the FP1 was to resume after Momoto entered an agreement with Petronas Technical Services in March 2011, after it paid the full purchase price for 129 superbikes, including spare parts, patent and industrial designs. The news report said Momotos suit, which was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court last July, claimed that Petronas Technical Services registered only two of its motorcycles with the Road Transport Department and there were no APs for either machine. A month later, the Customs Department seized all 129 motorcycles from Momoto as the machines had no APs nor were the excise duties paid. We took it for granted that Petronas Technical would have complied with the basic requirement of obtaining the APs and settled all dues to the government at the point of bringing the motorcycles into Malaysia, a spokesman for Momoto was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider. Due to the Customs seizure, Momoto claim that they could possibly face criminal charges for being in possession of contraband goods and also took a hit on its business reputation, especially after it just entered into a research and development agreement with Swiss racing firm Suter Racing Technology AG. The news portal also quoted lawyer Rajinder Singh Veriah, who is acting on behalf of Momoto, as saying that the suit has been served on Petronas Technical Services, who in turn have field a stay for the matter to be referred for arbitration.

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