Police warns of buying a vehicle from another person
BY DARCEL CHOY Thursday, August 29 2013
The Trinidad and Tobago police service is warning citizens to be careful when purchasing vehicles from persons.
Acting Inspector Wayne Mystar during the weekly press briefing at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, yesterday said it was common practice that vehicles which sustain severe damage in accidents were bought by unscrupulous persons. They remove the chassis number of the crashed vehicles and place those numbers on stolen or unregistered vehicles, and then sell them to unsuspecting persons.
Mystar said this was an illegal practice, and there was no legal trade in replacing the chassis numbers of vehicles. This process, he said, is referred to as tampering, and was an offence under Section 4 A (1) b of the Larceny Act.
He said the police service was on a constant drive to remove vehicles with tampered chassis numbers from the roads, and prosecute those responsible for the larceny of motor vehicles, also those using unregistered vehicles on the road.
He said members of the public were sometimes given a false sense of security when a search of a vehicle was done by a financial institution, on acquiring a loan to purchase a vehicle.
“ However, this search is primarily to determine financial encumbrances, and does not distinguish whether there is any tampering of the chassis number,” he said.
Mystar noted that in addition to the physical alteration of vehicles, the record in the Licensing Department pertaining to these vehicles were also changed so that the existence of a certificate of ownership was not proof that the vehicle was properly registered.
Some of the signs that members of the public should look for if a vehicle was suspected to be illegitimate, include the following:
1. The seller does not allow the buyer to come to his home, or give his address. Meetings to view the vehicle are done in car parks, or other public places.
2. The seller is hesitant to transfer the vehicle at the Licensing Department, and usually undertakes to have the transfer done through a contact at the Licensing Department.
3. The person selling requests cash only.
4. Telephone contact given is a cellular phone, and never land lines.
5. Person selling the vehicle cannot be contacted after transaction.
6. Personal identification used is false, or not given.