A DRIVER has warned others to be wary when flogging their cars after swindlers carried out a bizarre smoke scam before a test drive.
Bikramjit Kooner, 52, claims two blokes eyeing up his BMW tried to con him so they could snap up the vehicle for a third of the price.
They turned up at his home in Norwich on May 14 to take a look at the dad-of-one’s BMW 520D M Sport after he advertised it on eBay.
But Bikramjit soon became suspicious when one of the men beckoned him to the boot of the car, while the other lingered near the bonnet.
He hopped in the motor with the pair to take his ten-year-old car on a test drive when the vehicle suddenly began to fill with thick smoke.
The concerned car seller headed back to his home before the trio lifted up the bonnet to investigate – where they were met with another cloud of smoke.
The alleged scammers then tried to bargain with Bikramjit, offering to purchase the car for a measly £2,000 for “scrap”.
But he was left baffled as to why his BMW, that he had priced at £6,000, had suddenly malfunctioned and turned them down.
He explained: “They said, ‘oh it’s oil in water so your car engine is gone and the timing chain will break if you drive any more’, and I thought the same thing.
“He said ‘your engine is f**cked!’ “Then they tried to buy the car as scrap for £2,000.”
They renegotiated to £3,500, before the courier driver discussed the offer with pals – who warned him he was being taken for a ride.
The doubtful dad decided to check his CCTV cameras and watch back the meeting, only to discover the men had allegedly tampered with his car.
Bikramjit explained: “[They] put engine oil into the coolant system and poured used engine oil on the side of the engine.
“They pulled the air filter off so smoke could go straight inside the car before the test drive.
“I was thinking all night about when I left them alone to get the paperwork, but it was only 30 or 40 seconds. But luckily, my camera was on record.”
The footage shows the men appearing to pop open the bonnet after sending the 52-year-old for paperwork.
I want to save other people, I know a little bit about cars but in 20 minutes I was almost brainwashed.
Bikramjit claims the dodgy duo then poured some oil into the BMW’s coolant fluid, which caused the engine to smoke during the test drive.
He alleges that upon returning with the documents, he was distracted by one of the men while the other splashed even more liquid onto the engine.
The courier driver also claimed one of the scammer’s appeared to unclip the air filters – but has now been unable to contact the pair.
He reported the crime to Norfolk Constabulary, who are investigating his allegations.
Luckily, Bikramjit did not go through with the sale, but he wants to share his story to protect others from falling for a similar alleged scam.
He said: “I thought I was lucky I didn’t take their offer. They tried hard, twenty minutes to half an hour, they wanted to take the car.
“If I didn’t know I would have done the deal for £2,000.
“I want to save other people, I know a little bit about cars but in 20 minutes I was almost brainwashed.”
Bikramjit has since taken the car to a mechanic who he said confirmed that the liquid was engine oil.
But luckily, none of it had entered the car’s mechanism so it was able to be flushed out.
Norfolk Constabulary have confirmed that their enquiries are ongoing.
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