Kidnap suspect Christian Borg loses rental car company licence

Christian Borg, who ran 1,145-car rental fleet, loses public garage licence in Appeals Court decision that upheld tribunal suspension

Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)
Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)

The Court of Appeal has upheld Transport Malta’s decision to suspend Christian Borg’s car rental company’s licence, following numerous customer complaints, in which the Tribunal ruled that the company’s actions had damaged Malta’s international reputation.

In a judgement handed down earlier today, Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff confirmed the decision previously taken by the Administrative Review Tribunal. The court noted that the UK’s Sunday Times had written about a number of English tourists who had been deceived by Borg’s company and ended up out of pocket.

The article in the London Sunday Times Business Section, titled “Vehicle Hire” Cowboys “Goldcar Blew Holes in Our Holiday Budgets” dealt with the terrible service provided by Goldcar in several countries, including Malta.

The evidence exhibited showed that Borg held a licence to operate a public service garage with a fleet of some 1,145 vehicles. He had been ordered to stop the company’s vehicle rental activities, in view of the avalanche of complaints received by Transport Malta and the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) from angry customers. In September 2018 the MCCAA had initiated administrative investigation proceedings against Borg.

A number of meetings had been held to address these complaints, some of which had been addressed by Borg and closed. Others, however, are still pending.

In her testimony, the Director General of the Consumer Affairs Office Joyce Borg had explained that the several shortcomings they had encountered had been brought to his attention. She told the court that the majority of the complaints had been made by tourists, and had given Malta a bad name.

The Tribunal had ruled that there had been nothing irrelevant or irregular about the action taken by the Transport Authority. The court rejected Borg’s claim that the authority had rushed its decision and pointed out that it had given Borg a long period of time to remedy the situations the company had created, which had cast a dark shadow over Malta’s international reputation.

No action had been taken against Christian Borg before November 2018, in spite of the mountain of complaints, observed the court, also noting that despite it being faced with all the complaints, the authority had allowed the situation to degenerate before taking concrete action.

The court rejected Borg’s complaint that he had never been afforded the opportunity to meet with representatives of the authority in question was “nothing more than an attempt to spare his blushes,” adding that he would have to have been aware of the complaints being made to the authorities.

The judge dismissed Borg’s appeal and confirmed the judgement, confirming revocation of his licence.