Durban Panel Beaters

Durban panel beaters: now fined for stolen car parts scam

Durban panel beaters have found themselves on the wrong side of the law after packing stolen parts to export to Mauritius.

Durban Panel Beaters

A pair of Durban based panel beaters has been bust, found guilty and sentenced after attempting to export a container load of stolen vehicle parts through the Durban Port recently.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said that two Durban firms, Wind Motors and South x South 29 (Pty) Ltd had pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property and one of failing to register as a motor vehicle builder.

The Durban panel beaters were sentenced to a collective fine of R150 000 in the Durban Regional Court.

“Wind Motors is a dealer in second-hand motor vehicle parts, building and modifying vehicles for the purposes of sale while South x South 29 Ltd is an export company,” Kara said.

“In December 2018, a container packed at Wind Motors was transported to the Durban Harbour for shipment to Mauritius. The SAPS received information that there were illicit goods in the container and it was stopped. The search revealed that the motor vehicle parts in the container were linked to theft, robbery and fraud cases from the Durban area,” Kara said.

Kara said further investigations had revealed that Wind Motors, a vehicle builder and modifier, had been conducting business without the relevant Department of Transport registration. 

“Further, it was discovered that South x South 29 had received a stolen motor vehicle from a business associate,” Kara said.

The court fined them R280 000, half of which was suspended for the two counts of receiving stolen property and R10 000 for failing to register as motor vehicle builder, resulting in the effective fine of R150 000.

Regional Court Prosecutor, Vishalan Moodley, told the court that the case sends out a warning to the auto-building and spare parts industry to ensure high levels of ethics and governance in their businesses.

The conviction for failing to register as a motor vehicle builder is the first conviction of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal.