Wednesday, 30 May 2018 13:41

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The following member alert has been written by the MTA WA Group CEO Mr.Stephen Moir in response to the "lenient" fines issued in what has been named the "largest illegal car dealer operation in WA History".

 

"Today, I have to written to the Attorney General, the Hon John Quigley MLA expressing our utter disgust and frustration over the low penalties being handed down by the Perth Magistrates Court where breaches of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act 1973 are being successfully prosecuted.

This comes following the latest case, which was before the court on the 25th of May and saw three brothers, Ali Mohammed Yas, Hussein Mohammed Yas and Mustafa Mohammed Yas convicted on the illegal dealing of 284 motor vehicles between March 2016 and November 2017. The court handed down fines totalling $37,500 or $12,500 each plus costs.

According to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection, this is the most extensive illegal motor vehicle dealing investigation in the history of Consumer Protection, and yet, as I understand it, the prosecution argued that the fine should be in the lower to mid-range. The Act allows for a maximum penalty of $50,000 and the MTA WA believes given the magnitude of this crime, the maximum penalty should have been applied.

I also reminded the Attorney General, that these individuals could have made anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million from the sale of the 284 vehicles, paid no tax, could well have undervalued the vehicles on receipts so as to reduce stamp duty payable and it is the MTA WA’s understanding, were in receipt of Centrelink  benefits.

What makes this situation more unpalatable is that an individual who rents their house out on Air BnB without Council approval could face an initial fine of $200,000 with an additional fine of $25,000 per day for additional breaches and yet criminals such as the Yas brothers effectively face a slap on the wrist for what is a significant criminal act.

In closing, I have suggested to the Minister that the system is out of balance and I have asked that he review the penalties that apply so that the automotive industry can have faith that the cost of licensing to run a legitimate business is justified."

Yours sincerely

Stephen Moir

Chief Executive Officer

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