China / Society

Modified cars party busted in Beijing

By Wu Yan ( Updated: 2016-03-14 18:09

Modified cars party busted in Beijing

Beijing police inspect one of the vehicles at a modified cars party. [Photo/Sina Weib of Beijing municipal police bureau]

A modified cars party was busted in an underground parking lot at Galaxy Soho mall, the largest in the center of Beijing, on Friday night.

Two vehicles were confiscated among 27 suspected of being illegally modified and one suspected of having a fake registration plate. In total, 26 car owners were fined for illegal modifications and ordered to restore their vehicles to factory status, the municipal police bureau said.

Party organizer Shi Haitao told the Beijing News that participants drive their cars to the underground parking lot every week, for exchanging views and casual chat. It was unexpected that they would encounter the police.

"Car modification does not equal car racing," said Shi, adding that though accepting fines, they will not give up their hobby.

The municipal police bureau responded on its official Weibo account that car modification does not equal car racing but secret car modification is illegal.

From photos of the busted site, which spread on online social platforms, there were many luxury modified cars including a Nissan GT-R35, Lancer EVO, Porsche 911, Honda Jed and Ferrari.

Car modification enthusiasts' group iAcrophobia was believed to be responsible for the party. Shi said iAcrophobia is a non-profit global organization focusing on car culture.

More than 20 iAcrophobia group members were at the party when 50 to 60 police officers appeared at 9 pm, he said.

"We heard of the police locating cars with fake plates but someone reported us," said Shi. The police fined 200 yuan ($30.8) for each car modified in appearance and color.

Shi said that the car suspected of having a fake plate "does not have any relationship with the group".

"We often mistakenly take the blame for car racers," said Shi, adding that they have taken different measures to boycott car racing.

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