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North Charleston auto parts seller investigated after restricted vehicle found in shipping container

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A North Charleston-based company that sells auto parts is under investigation as to whether it attempted to smuggle restricted cars and other auto parts from Japan into the United States through the Port of Charleston, according to federal court documents.

In January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers physically inspected a shipping container from Japan heading to the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant, and bound for All JDM Motors LLC.

All JDM Motors of North Charleston is being investigated after a 1996 Nissan Skyline was discovered at the Port of Charleston. The car is illegal in the United States. (Photo from federal court documents)Customs officials found a bubble-wrapped 1996 Nissan Skyline inside, according to a search warrant request filed with and granted by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

The vehicle is restricted in the United States because it does not meet federal standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The car battery was dead and the doors and wheels had been removed and placed in the shipping container. The ignition key was in the vehicle, and a customs officer jump-started it, according to the warrant request.

The Nissan Skyline had been placed on top of two rows of used engines and other auto parts, and it was surrounded by other car parts. The court documents said the packaging made it appear the company was attempting to smuggle the goods into the country.

Officials are now investigating whether All JDM, at 7411 Industry Drive in North Charleston, falsely classified merchandise, undervalued merchandise and smuggled goods into the United States, documents said. No formal charges have been filed, the search warrant yielded a desktop computer, laptop computer and miscellaneous documents.

Calls made this morning seeking comment from company president Ali Dost Mohammad Ali and CEO Mohammad Didar Alizada were not answered.

The company’s invoice included a “used breakdown car” valued at $810; the invoice did not list a Nissan Skyline, court documents said. Documents said the car is worth around $51,000. An $810 valuation would equal at $20 cost to import; goods valued at $51,355 would be taxed at a $1,283 duty.

The inspection also yielded a front half of a second Nissan Skyline and 56 used transmissions — all of which were left off the invoice. The total value of the company’s unclaimed imports is around $107,000, according to court documents.

For this shipment, All JDM placed an order for used car parts from Japanese supplier Leon Corp. and then worked with customs broker Combined Transport Systems Inc. to get the paperwork submitted, according to court documents.

All JDM has made about 17 other entries at the Port of Charleston as importer or consignee from December 2014 to January 2017, court documents said; 15 of those were from the same Japanese supplier, Leon Corp.

All JDM has sold low-mileage engines, transmissions and other parts imported from Japan and parts for Japanese vehicles since 2014, according to court documents.

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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