Victoria’s consumer watchdog has taken criminal action against four individuals for illegal motor car trading, ordering them to pay fines and costs totalling over $123,000.
Acting Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Michelle Osborne said the action sends a strong message to would-be licensed motor car traders looking to make a quick buck without abiding by the necessary regulations.
“It’s unfair for some motor car traders to ignore rules that the rest of the industry are abiding by,” Ms Osborne said.
“These court outcomes act as a strong deterrent for anyone considering this dodgy line of work.”
Consumer Affairs Victoria inspections of vehicle auction house records found the four individuals had bought an unusually high volume of cars, prompting the investigation.
It was then found that all four had been on-selling cars bought at auction houses to unsuspecting consumers.
Under the Motor Car Traders Act 1986, a person dealing in four or more cars per year is required to be licensed.
Consumers who buy from unlicensed traders are left exposed as vehicles will not come with a cooling-off period and other protections a buyer gets when dealing with a licensed motor car trader.
All four individuals were convicted, with financial penalties handed down, including a fine of:
- $30,000 as well as $1,800 in legal costs against Abdellatif Cheairi Bouiaji, for the sale of 48 cars between March 2016 and March 2017
- $26,175 and legal costs of almost $6,070 against Marjan Hayvari, for the sale of 54 cars between March 2016 and April 2017
- $35,670 in addition to $6,662 for legal costs to Gelzar Ali Aziz, for the sale of 69 cars between March 2016 and March 2017
- $12,500 as well as $5,000 in legal costs against Taleb Youseff, for the sale of 21 cars between April 2016 and February 2017.