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MALTATODAY 12 June 2022

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7 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 12 JUNE 2022 How to find out the real mileage of your used Japanese import 1. Check your chassis number. The number can be found on your licence disc or log book. 2. Go to: 3. If you have a popup blocker disable it 4. Enter the chassis number in the required field 5. The JEVIC certificate will be issued 6. Compare your current mileage with the mileage on the certifi- cate 7. If you have less mileage on your instrument cluster than on your JEVIC certificate, contact your car dealer for an explanation A second-hand car dealership in Malta appoints a represent- ative who is tasked with bid- ding for the cars in auctions that take place in Japan. The Maltese importer sets a maximum bidding price that is normally linked to the make and mileage of the car. If the bid is successful, JEVIC inspectors carry out a review and issue a certificate of ap- proval. In its pre-export report JE- VIC includes the car model, date of inspection, location of inspection, vehicle identifi- cation number (chassis num- ber), odometer type and read- ing, certification number and the inspector's details. This information is logged in a database that is easily ac- cessible online using the car's chassis number. Industry sources told Malt- aToday that the racket starts the moment the cars arrive in Malta. When they are offloaded at Laboratory Wharf in the Grand Harbour, the police have to fill in the Vehicle 5 (VEH 005) customs and police inspection form. The manual form contains several fields, including one where the car's dashboard mileage is listed. However, it appears that dealers often use the excuse that the car battery has been exhausted as a result of the length of time it took the cargo ship to reach Malta so that the dashboard mileage cannot be read. In these instances, the in- spector leaves the mileage field blank so that the dealer can fill it in later when the car is started using a booster. Sources have indicated that although there may be genu- ine cases of car batteries that fall flat, many times these would have been disconnect- ed by the dealer. The blank field allows rogue dealers to write down the tam- pered mileage at a later stage. Reversing the mileage Once the car is at the deal- ers' yard, it is taken to an auto garage, where the mileage is tampered with and reduced. In tandem, a forged JEVIC certificate listing the fake mileage is printed at a print- ing press in the south of Mal- ta. The new fake mileage is also listed in the empty field of the port inspection form. Industry sources said that the documentation, including the forged JEVIC certificate is then presented to Transport Malta. In what appears to be incompetence at best and cor- ruption at worst, the TM offi- cial receiving the documenta- tion does not bother to verify the documentation with the online JEVIC database and the imported vehicle is given the official stamp with the tam- pered mileage. The car is then marketed in the showroom with low mile- age and sold to unwitting cus- tomers. How does the racket work? Qormi farm's crops could make way for cars JAMES DEBONO AN abandoned agricultural plot could be turned into a 3,000sq.m 'temporary' car park for 75 ve- hicles, opposite the FXB show- room in Qormi. Owner Carmel Bugeja is seek- ing a change-of-use permit for the disused land outside devel- opment zones. But previous permits for the rebuilding of an agricultural store as well as the local plan clearly show that the land was used for farming. The application also foresees the planting of trees around the site and a gate. The ODZ site is known as Tas-Salib, located at the corner of Triq Ġuże Duca and Triq Marju Pace, near the Ħandaq industrial area. Local plans also designate the site as an Agricultural Area, and a Strategic Open Gap, the later denied as "the first step outside urban areas offering a brief respite from the monotone visuals of heavily urbanised landscapes". The car park is being pro- posed on a site where the Plan- ning Authority had already permitted its previous owner, a registered farmer, to rebuild a 140sq.m agricultural store, later demolished to make way for a secondary road. The site itself was also registered with the Agriculture Directorate. A 3,000sq.m car park is being proposed instead of agricultural land in Tal-Handaq in Qormi

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