Imagine stealing a car from a Non-European Union registered country and driving it into Europe, being apprehended, sentenced to jail, and then levied a fine more than the cost of a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster. This is what happened about a month ago in Oberrieden, Switzerland. Three men from Poland pulled off a heist of three very expensive cars including a BMW 7-Series, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, and a one-of-a-kind Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Sang Bleu.
The Bugatti Veyron in this story is the same Bugatti Veyron that was custom made to celebrate Bugatti's centenary in 2009. Their plan was simple enough - steal the three automobiles and drive them back to Poland via Germany. What they should have thought about was that a trio of cars such as these would bring the immediate attention from all those around them. Two of the thieves were quickly apprehended by police, while the third ditched the Ferrari 599 at a German train station and is still on the run.
Since Switzerland (where the cars were registered) is not an EU registered country, the taxes for bringing the cars to Germany, which is an EU country, add up to around US$522,000. Smugglers into Germany face a 10% tariff and a 19% import tax. A new Bugatti Veyron runs a cool US$1.7 million dollars.