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Irish trucks-Hungarian drivers

18th October 2001
Page 18
Page 18, 18th October 2001 — Irish trucks-Hungarian drivers
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

A Telford international haulier must wait to hear his fate after a disciplinary inquiry heard he had hired Irish-registered vehicles driven by Hungarian drivers. The Birmingham hearing heard Mohammed Choudhary trading as Deans of Telford, did not have the vehicles on his licence.

Choudhary, who holds a licence for 10 vehicles and five trailers, claimed that he and his employees had been racially harassed by the motorway police.

Alter West Midlands Traffic Commissioner David Dixon pointed out that the financial evidence produced was in the name of Deans Telford, Chris Harris, representing Choudhary, conceded that that company did not hold an 0-licence. He accepted that Choudhary held a licence as a sole trader but had been operating as a limited company.

Helen Bradin, for the VI, said that Choudhary also used the name Richard Dean. She alleged that the way he traded allowed him to undercut legitimate operators. Deans Europe, Deans International and Deans Express Haulage were among the names he operated under. There was also a history of failing to produce tachograph records.

Choudhary had claimed that four of the five specified vehicles had been sold some time ago and he had never owned the fifth vehicle. But Bradin pointed out that these vehicles were still specified on the licence.

Evidence was given by traffic examiners and a police officer that various British and Irish-registered vehicles had been stopped, some of which were driven by Hungarian nationals.

These vehicles belonged to Shifnal Rentals—a business belonging to Choudhary's sister—and to SD Transport (Ireland) of Dundalk—which was run by his brother.

The vehicles all carried photocopies of community authorisations belonging to Choudhary. Two vehicles were found to contain green rebated diesel in their tanks and the CMR notes named the carrier as Deans Telford.

Traffic examiner Patricia Earp said that Deans Telford and Shifnal Rentals operated from the same office. She had seen a list on the company noticeboard showing old British registration numbers which had been replaced by new Irish registration numbers.

Harris said Choudhary denied any knowledge of the use of rebated fuel. Harris insisted there was no evidence about who was actually the operator of the vehicles that had been stopped in many of these cases.

The vehicles that had been hired from SD Transpo (Ireland) and Shifnal Rent had been hired for less than days, said Harris. There w only one conviction for faili to produce charts and anon mous allegations th Choudhary had instructed di vers to throw away us+ tachograph discs were dale Choudhary had no idea WI invoices from Deans Teffo and Shifnal Rental showed ti same VAT number. He had bei told that Shifnal Rental w; not VAT registered.

The IC is to announce h decision in writing.

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