[WATCH] Farrugia: Stakeholders meeting to ensure there is no repeat of mileage tampering scam

Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia says all relevant stakeholders are meeting to ensure a better system is implemented to prevent odometer tampering in the future 

Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia has said all relevant stakeholders are meeting to ensure a better system is implemented to prevent odometer tampering in the future.

“I am ensuring that Transport Malta (TM), together with these stakeholders, guarantee that any action that needs to be taken is taken, so that the situation is not repeated,” he said outside parliament on Monday.

Last week MaltaToday revealed how Rokku Autodealer and Tal-Qasab Autosales were behind the racket that saw hundreds of customers cheated when purchasing Japanese imported second-hand cars.

The dealers tampered with the vehicle mileage and used forged certificates to get Transport Malta’s seal of approval when registering the vehicles.

He said all stakeholders – TM, the police and customs – are working together to ensure the system “improves”.

“There are ongoing investigations on the subject, but beyond that, there are a number of stakeholders involved in the issue – police, customs and even TM, who all have a role to play,” Farrugia said.

READ ALSO: Mechanic behind mileage tampering denies knowledge of used car scam

the transport authority said it has no responsibility in the scam, insisting it relies on official documentation provided by the police and customs officials.

“Transport Malta (TM) does not inspect any vehicles coming from non-EU countries including Japan,” it said. “The role of TM is to register such vehicles with the documents submitted by the motor dealer which include customs and police verifications including a passed VRT test. The Malta Police Force has the full support and cooperation of the ministry and Transport Malta during the investigation on the matter which is ongoing.”

READ ALSO | Dealers in used car racket: Silence and denials

Farrugia also reiterated the transport authority’s statements, stating it rests on inspections carried out by customs and the police.

“When a car arrives in Malta, customs and police carry out their inspections,” he said. “I am not passing the buck, but the issue lies in ensuring the proper system is in place so that the illegalities are not repeated.”

Byron Camilleri

Questioned on the matter, justice minister Byron Camilleri said the police have the duty, and are investigating the case.

“I do not know the details of how the system works, but as always when there is a victim, authorities have the duty to ensure that the situation is not repeated,” he said. “We have to ensure victims are given the proper support, so that anyone guilty of any wrong doing is brought to justice.”