T&T automobile dealers support probe into ‘racket’

(Trinidad Express) The Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Dealers Association (TTADA) supports the decision by Transport Minister Devant Maharaj to request a probe into a racket at the Licensing Office.

President Visham Babwah said the association has made several requests for operations at the Licencing Office to be investigated.

In a letter to Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs, Maharaj stated a Ministry audit was conducted which found several instances of fraudulent activities at the Licensing Office.

Babwah said corruption among foreign used car dealers was creating a bad reputation for the industry.

He said not everyone who sells foreign used cars was a dealer and advised citizens to do background checks on the seller of any vehicle before purchasing.

Babwah said, “Any individual is allowed to import a car. People are posing as used car dealers when they are not dealers. Not because they have a set of cars in their place they are a dealer. A lot of the underhand activities also take place with these people and we can’t do anything about .That is just how it is. They are allowed to bring a car and they are allowed to let somebody act on their behalf. A lot of citizens are losing money going to these people.”

He said, “My advice to people is before you go to buy a foreign used car check get references. Call the Ministry of Trade and speak to a trade officer. You want to purchase a foreign used car. You are going by whichever dealer and you would like to get a reference to know if this was a good dealer or if there are any complaints. Every car that is sold, the information goes back to the Ministry of Trade and they call the customer to see if everything was okay. They would have a report if they have complaints from whichever dealer. And they will be able to tell you if it is a legitimate dealer you are going by.”

Babwah said he has discussed his concerns with Maharaj and he (Maharaj) assured him that a letter would be sent to acting Attorney General Dr Roodal Moonilal.

Babwah said he was told that any dealer being investigated would be required to cease all business until the process is completed. If found guilty of any crime, his licence will be revoked.

Moonilal said yesterday he would meet Maharaj to discuss the issue.

Babwah said not only dealers should be accountable for any wrongdoing, but all who were involved in illegal transactions.


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