AMVIC Charges Sellers of Imported Salvage Vehicles
Edmonton… Five men face charges under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act and Canada’s Criminal Code involving the purchase of badly damaged cars imported from the United States, which were then repaired in Ontario and sold to unsuspecting consumers in Alberta.
The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) has charged Maciej Andrew Mika and Arthur Krukowski of Calgary; Bart Antoniewicz of Ancaster, Ontario; Andrzej Judycki of Surrey, B.C.; Rafal Bohun and Rafal Nowakowski (also known as Ralph Anderson), both of no fixed address with numerous counts of fraud and operating without a licence.
Approximately 100 of the damaged vehicles were sold in Alberta. AMVIC led the investigation, assisted by the RCMP, Edmonton and Calgary police, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and Service Alberta.
Before the vehicles were sold, they underwent out-of-province inspections that allowed the vehicles to obtain Active status in Alberta’s motor vehicles registry. The vehicles should have been inspected as salvaged or written off vehicles. If they had passed a valid inspection, they should have been registered as Rebuilt vehicles. Current vehicle registration procedures are being enhanced to prevent the reoccurrence.
Businesses and consumers are encouraged to carefully check the history of any used vehicle. This can be done by obtaining a vehicle history report from CarFax or CarProof. Follow the precautions listed below.
AMVIC is the authority delegated by the provincial government to protect Alberta consumers from wrongful behaviour in relation to the purchase or repair of motor vehicles. Business and consumers with questions or concerns about this investigation can contact AMVIC.
Consumers should take the following precautions if they choose to purchase a vehicle privately instead of going to a licensed sales business.
- Ask to see the most recent registration and insurance for the vehicle. Ask to see receipts for any service done on the vehicle. This will be a good indication if the seller is being truthful. If the seller cannot provide such details, shop somewhere else.
- Don’t be rushed into buying a vehicle even if the seller says there is another interested buyer coming to look at it or it won’t last long.
- If the seller won’t allow you to come to their residence or insists on meeting at some place neutral, that is a good indication they may be hiding something. Don’t bother meeting with them.
- If you choose to purchase the vehicle, first get it inspected by your own independent mechanic.
- Check the vehicle’s history. CarFax and CarProof are two popular reports that will give you important information from a third party. You can get these at a registry office or via internet websites.
- Check for liens on the vehicle to make sure the person selling it actually owns it. This may miss ownership if a lien has not been registered for the vehicle but will show you if a financial institution has placed a lien.
- Don’t buy a vehicle at night. If you are uncomfortable at all, walk away.