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Hundreds exposed: Dodgy second-hand car swindle busted

Police have busted a criminal syndicate on Brisbane’s south side allegedly engaged in offloading hundreds of bomb second-hand cars at prestige prices to unsuspecting buyers.

Nov 17, 2022, updated Nov 17, 2022
Police believe as many as 700 vehicles, mostly second-hand four-wheel-drives, were sold during the sham operation.

Police believe as many as 700 vehicles, mostly second-hand four-wheel-drives, were sold during the sham operation.

In one case uncovered by detectives during the major vehicle fraud operation, a Toyota Landcruiser troop-carrier was purchased for $8000, the odometer wound back 400,000 kilometres and then on-sold for $54,000.

The brazen rip-off was among a slew of dodgy deals that saw vehicles off-loaded at massively inflated prices through a social media marketplace forum after being purchased in a poor state, some near to write-off condition or with excessively high kilometres.

Police believe as many as 700 vehicles, mostly second-hand four-wheel-drives, were sold during the sham operation.

Police allege the offenders were able to deceive their buyers by conducting unlicensed or substandard repairs and modifications, such as adding new wheels, bull bars, apparent rust proofing, winding odometers back between 50,000 to 400,000 kilometres and providing false road worthy certificates.

In the execution of multiple search warrants at Daisy Hill, Mount Gravatt East, Logan Central and Upper Mount Gravatt, police seized more $411,000 in cash and 155 vehicles.

An additional crime scene warrant was executed at Rochedale with investigators from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) identifying and examining all vehicles on the site.

Four men, aged 23, 28, 38 and 47, from Daisy Hill have each been charged with 39 charges, including fraud, attempted fraud, tainted property and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

They have been bailed to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 27, 2023.

A fifth man, a 30-year-old from Upper Mount Gravatt, was charged with 44 counts of fraud and attempted fraud on Thursday morning.

Investigations are continuing.

The Office of Fair Trading’s director of investigations and enforcement, Steve L’Barrow, said anyone who believed they had purchased a second-hand vehicle subject to odometer tampering or was unroadworthy, was advised to contact the Office of Fair Trading and have the vehicle mechanically checked.

He encouraged car buyers to do their research before making their purchase.

“People looking to buy a used vehicle should visit odometer check websites to assess the history of the vehicle and the Personal Property Securities Register where they can check if the car they are looking to buy is recorded as debt free, stolen or written off,” Mr L’Barrow.

“The OFT will not tolerate this type of behaviour and my warning to other motor dealers operating illegally is the OFT will take action.”

 

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