A Milton Keynes scrap metal firm has been fined £15,000 and ordered to close its site following a police and council investigation into illegal business practices.
MK PDR, based in New Port Road, New Bradwell, were visited by officers from Op Precious, Thames Valley Police’s dedicated metal theft team, on December 6, 2013, as part of a routine check after the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act on October 1, 2013.
The business operates as an end of life vehicle scrapping company and officers attended to check MK PDR were being compliant with the legislation.
The paperwork suggested that after the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 was introduced, the directors of the yard and its drivers were breaching the legislation by continuing to pay for scrap vehicles in cash and failing to record required details of the transaction and/or verifying the customer’s name and address.
On January 14, police and staff from Milton Keynes Council attended the site and carried out a closure notice order to MK PDR, advising the company much cease buying and selling scrap metal as they had no licence to do so. The site is no longer operating.
Five people from the company, including two directors, were interviewed and reported to court on January 27, 2014, for a number of offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
Three pleaded guilty to these offences at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on Monday, March 24. Two of the five failed to appear and their case will be heard in April.
Mohammed Jawad Bakshi, 36, from Cox Close, Bedford, who was a director of the company, pleaded guilty to three offences, all committed between October 1 and November 30, 2013.
These offences were; receiving scrap metal in the course of business and failing to keep records as a site manager; receiving scrap metal as a site manager and failing to keep a copy of documents verifying the sellers name and address; and making payment for scrap metal other than by cheque/electronic transfer as a site manager. For each offence, he received a £2,000 fine, as well as £120 victim surcharge and £85 costs; a total of £6,205.
Eqbal Mohammedi, 32, from Cox Close, Bedford, who was also a director of the company, pleaded guilty to three offences of receiving scrap metal in the course of business and failing to record it as a site manager between October 1 and November 30, 2013; receiving scrap metal and failing to keep a copy of documents verifying the sellers name and address as a site manager on November 24, 2013; and making payment for scrap metal other than by cheque/electronic transfer as a site manager, also on November 24, 2013. He also received a £2,000 fine for each of the three offences, as well as a £120 victim surcharge and £85 surcharge; a total of £6,205.
Shire Hasan Azizy, 36, from Cox Close, Bedford, was a driver at the firm. He pleaded guilty to two counts, both committed between October 1, 2013, and November 30, 2013; one count of making payment for scrap metal other than by cheque/electronic transfer when acting for scrap metal dealer and one count of receiving scrap metal and failing to keep a copy of documents verifying the delivers name and address. He was fined £1,000 for each offence, as well as £100 victim surcharge and £85 costs; a total of £2,185.
The total number of fines handed out to the three men is £14,595.
As one of the directors was also a director of a yard in Manchester, members of the Op Precious team liaised with Greater Manchester Police and their local authority, who attended and found evidence that suggested the site was also breaching legislation and a closure notice was issued.
Det Insp Ian Wood, from the Op Precious team, said: “I am really pleased with the sentences handed down to the defendants, which reflect the complete disregard they had for the law.
“The Scrap Metal Dealers Act came into Force to protect those who deal in scrap metal in a lawful way, and allow us to target those who don’t. It also means scrap metal cannot be traded for cash and that anyone selling it must provide ID, meaning thieves no longer find it as easy to sell stolen metal or scrap stolen cars.
“All businesses were given plenty of notice of the new legislation coming into force and were also given a two month grace period to from its introduction to obtain a licence from the local authority.
“I hope the fines handed out to the directors of MK PDR act as a warning to other scrap metal dealers who think they are above the law that we are determined to crack down on those trading metal illegally.”
A council spokesman said: “Milton Keynes Council is working closely with our partners to ensure that the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act is complied with. Anybody working as a Scrap Metal Dealer must be licensed to do so, must keep accurate records of receipts and sales and must comply with the ‘cashless’ payment rules.
“We will use these laws to prevent metal thefts and protect the public and legitimate businesses.”