Unlicensed haulier charged with theft • An Essex haulier who
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vowed to continue operating despite being refused an 0-licence is now facing criminal charges.
Takeley-based Paul Ellis, of Freightmate International, sent a letter to the Eastern Traffic Area Office to say he would ignore its decision and keep trucking, (CM 28 May-3 June). He also complained bitterly about the state of the UK haulage industry and "the cowboys out there".
But on reading this, Chris Simpson, of Cleveland haulier Chris Simpson International, contacted CM to say: "This man is not fit to hold an 0licence—it's a bit rich for him to moan about the industry."
Simpson says Ellis did two jobs for him using a company fridge trailer on loan. But after a dispute over payment terms Ellis refused to return the trailer, which is still missing.
Essex police have charged Ellis with the theft of the trailer—and they say that Ellis is facing another charge, brought by the Metropolitan police, of handling stolen goods after he was caught in Chigwell with a stolen trailer loaded with 1:150,000-worth of missing merchandise.
"He's not as naive as he makes out," says a source. "This is the sort of person the haulage industry wants to kick out."
Ellis is currently on bail and the police presume he is still operating. But sources suggest he has recently surrendered his only truck after failing to meet HP repayments.
Commercial Motor was unable to contact him.
El Trailer manufacturers have agreed a specification for VIN numbers to help the identification of stolen units. The 17digit identification code will be stamped on the manufacturer's plates and chassis of trailers over 1,020kg.