Customers, lawyer singled out on Facebook video by rental company accused of tax evasion

No Deposit hits back at judicial protest with social media video targeting defaulting customers and lawyer Jason Azzopardi • Lawyer says video is 'flagrant breach of privacy'

Updated at 11:12am with Jason Azzopardi's reaction

Rental car company No Deposit Cars has singled out customers who signed a judicial protest by lawyer Jason Azzopardi, in which they asked that the company be investigated for tax evasion and money laundering.

The AI generated video, posted to the company’s Facebook page, was posted as a “right of reply” to the judicial protest signed by Azzopardi on Thursday against No Deposit Cars, its parent company Princess Holdings and the company’s owner Christian Borg.

It is the second video of its kind posted to the company’s Facebook page, with the first calling out MaltaToday journalists Karl Azzopardi and Luke Vella over an article published last Sunday, detailing how scores of customers would be seeking collective action against the company and alleged kidnapper Christian Borg.

26 customers have now requested the courts rescind hire purchase contracts between them and the company, claiming to have fallen victims to fraud and criminal conspiracy amongst other crimes, inviting the police to investigate.

In the video posted on Saturday morning, No Deposit Cars called out the lawyer for entering the case “for his own personal interest”.

Riddled with spelling mistakes, the video singles out customers involved in the judicial protest, even publishing personal details detailed in the court document.

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In an attempt to intimidate customers seeking the legal action, the video also outs some of the protest’s signatories by revealing their name and photos uploaded to their social media accounts. “These are just some examples of who signed the protest, and while we appreciate everyone’s opinion, it does not mean there will be any cancellation of debts owed to the company.”

“We rest assure our customers we will not be intimidated by these futile actions, and irrelevant claims made by customers to avoid paying their dues, and we will continue to use legal methods to collect any amounts owed to us available at law,” the video’s narration can be heard saying.

“Oh, and Jason, before applying double standards, we suggest you look at your own tax affairs, and we remind the public that Jason has his own personal intentions in place,” the video concludes. “We inform all those involved in the judicial protest that our company lawyers have already answered to each and every one.”

The court document outlines the customers’ claims that Borg participated in a criminal conspiracy and had forced or induced them to pay over €1,000 for imaginary contraventions which the hapless customers were told they had incurred – often in just one month.

Borg’s fleeced customers are requesting he also be investigated and ultimately charged with having “promoted, constituted, organised or financed an organisation with a view to commit criminal offences which are punishable by imprisonment for four years or more” -  in layman’s terms: participating in organised crime.

Jason Azzopardi reacts

In a short reaction to the latest development, lawyer Jason Azzopardi said the video was "a flagrant breach of privacy" and rejected the "bullying and intimidation" being perpetrated by the company.

"I will not deign to waste any time replying to con men, fraudsters and alleged money launderers. This bullying and intimidation strengthens my resolve to carry on doing my duty to the best of my abilities on behalf of whoever asks me to help them in their legal problems. Frankly, I see it as a sign of panic. Moreover, what these fraudsters have done this morning is a flagrant breach of privacy in terms of the GDPR. The fact that someone has put their name on a judicial act doesn’t mean anyone has the right to publish additional details unless there’s a manifest public interest to do so. It further shows the blatant disregard they have for the law, emboldened by the impunity they have enjoyed courtesy of you know who," Azzopardi said.