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Moscow police seize custom 'Batmobile'

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...as found by BBC Monitoring

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image copyrightRussian Ministry of the Interior
image captionMoscow police are investigating the owner of the 'Batmobile' replica

A car designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere has been impounded by authorities in Russia.

The "Batmobile" - or more accurately a custom-made likeness of the superhero wagon seen in the film Batman V Superman - was spotted and seized by Moscow traffic police over concerns that it does not fit road safety regulations.

A statement from the city's branch of the Ministry of the Interior has said that the so-called "batmobile" was confiscated in central Moscow.

It was apparently "not manufactured within factory conditions" and was neither registered with authorities nor certified as roadworthy - the Russian equivalent of an MOT test. Upon closer inspection, police determined the car was also unlikely to be deemed safe for public roads.

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Officials determined that the dimensions of the vehicle "exceeded acceptable norms".

Its owner, an unnamed 32-year-old man from Moscow, is now being investigated on three different charges, relating to the vehicle's lack of documentation, its alleged excessive weight or size, as well as its irregular features that are not permitted on road-driven vehicles.

A similar car was recently sold on Russian car-trading website Auto.ru. The "Batmobile 2018 I" was supposedly imported from the US to Russia in 2018, where additional features, including electronics, were later added. Russian business news website RBCRBC reported that the car's advertised price in late 2019 was 55 million roubles (840,000 dollars).

The name of the owner was not revealed and no suggestion has been made of his involvement in crime-fighting or vigilantism of any kind.

Reporting by Damien Sharkov

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