Record fine for illegal motor sales

An Auckland company and its former director have been sentenced to record fines totalling $250,000 for illegal motor vehicle sales.

Awan Boueki Pacific was fined $200,000 and former director Bakhtawar Singh $50,000 in the Manukau District Court yesterday for selling 69 vehicles in a year without being registered as a motor vehicle trader.

Under the Motor Vehicles Sales Act, individuals can legally sell six vehicles in a 12-month period without being registered.

Judge Gerard Winter said the case was in the "most serious" category for this offence.

The previous record penalty for unregistered motor vehicle sales was a $30,000 fine, which was imposed on a Waiheke Island man in July.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment registries enforcement manager Karla Flood said the judge had referred to the aggravating features of the offending, including the persistence of the offending, premeditation and that it was well planned and deceptive.

Flood said the sentencing should send a clear message that action would be taken against individuals or companies that flouted the rules.

The Motor Vehicle Traders Register said it had investigated 228 unregistered motor vehicle traders since July last year.

Of those investigations, 202 had been completed, nine remained under investigation and 17 cases were before the courts.

Of the 202 completed investigations, 122 were closed as compliance was achieved, 74 were closed as no offence was identified and six traders were issued with written warnings and were being monitored.