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Police arrest man for odometer tampering

MEDIA RELEASE MVDI
For immediate release: 07 May 2001

Police arrest man for odometer tampering

The Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute (MVDI) today announced the arrest of a 38-year-old Otahuhu man operating as an unlicensed trader in the Auckland area. The man, Phong Do, has been charged with 173 offences relating to odometer tampering.

The arrest comes after a twelve-month undercover investigation by staff at the Auckland branch of the MVDI, headed by investigator Andrew Hertz, working in conjunction with the New Zealand Police. The investigation unearthed the unlicensed trade of thousands of vehicles, and identified wound odometers in a high percentage of the vehicles. The Police consider this to be on the largest incidents of odometer winding they have seen.

Phong Do, who appeared in court today, disguised his unlicensed trading by making “private sales” at car fairs and roadside sales. He has been remanded in custody for the next two weeks.

MVDI Executive Director Steve Downes says that the arrest of this man is another significant victory in a long line of MVDI investigations.

“The MVDI sees unlicensed motor vehicle trading as a real threat to the industry. Unlicensed traders work in direct competition to licensed motor vehicle dealers, who, as members of the Institute, follow a strict set of guidelines which focus on consumer protection. As a result of this man’s actions, consumers will be left with no redress regarding compensation.”

Mr Downes cites co-operation between the MVDI and the Police as an important factor in the investigation of unlicensed motor vehicle traders. “In this case, our Auckland branch staff worked very closely with the Police. The co-operation between the two organisations is vital if we are to continue to hold unlicensed traders responsible for their actions.”

The Institute considers unlicensed trading to have a number of negative impacts on the motor vehicle dealing industry, including taking business away from licensed dealers, leaving consumers with no protection and lowering the public’s perception of licensed dealers. Mr Downes says “The Institute takes unlicensed trading very seriously and will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in this criminal activity.” The Auckland branch of the MVDI has a number of prosecutions pending at this time. The Institute has taken over 43 prosecutions in the last 12 months.

For more information, please contact MVDI Executive Director Steve Downes on 025 371 542 or Communications Manager Anna Thomson on (04) 389 5071 on 025 790 991.

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