CAIRO: More than 100 complaints have been filed with the police against Karim Nashaat, the owner of Al Rabea for Car Trade, accusing him of stealing clients’ deferment payments and not delivering their cars on time.
Ahmed Hashaad, a high ranking police officer at Al Khalifa police station, said Nashaat’s clients have been filing accusations against the Al Rabea for Car Trade car dealership in Al Mokkatam hills.
“Some customers complained saying that they have met the required deferment payments to deliver their new cars from the store, but have not received their vehicles, Hashaad said.
“Some other customers have received their cars and didn’t manage to get the remaining documents required for completing license procedures, Hashaad told The Daily Star Egypt.
He added the police have transferred the case to the main prosecution of Al Khalifa district.
A high ranking source at Al Khalifa prosecution office said Nasaahat has fled after stealing about LE 16 millions from customers.
“The prosecution confiscated his rented store at El Nafoura Square in al Mokkatam hills, but couldn’t seize the other branch in Nasr City district, because he sold it before running away with the money, the source, who requested to anonymity, told The Daily Star Egypt.
He said Nashaat owes large amounts of money to a number of different car companies.
“He owes one and a half million pounds to one of the very famous car companies. He ran away, but the prosecution detained both the administrative and the financial managers, who said they were just employees and knew nothing about the accusations against Nashaat, said the source.
Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim, one of the customers who reported his case to the police, said in an article published in Al Masry Al Youm, that he paid LE 35,000 as a deposit to buy a new car from the store and didn’t receive his car even after the settled delivery time, August 2006, had passed.
“I paid LE 25,000 to Salem Hamdy, the detained administrative manager of Al Rabea store, and the other LE 10,000 to another employee called Hussein Ahmed. I am afraid I won’t get my money or car back. I heard the owner left the country and I lost all my rights, said Ibrahim.
Hassan Solyman, president of the Egyptian General Section of Car Traders at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said the Al Rabea car dealership didn’t have a membership in the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, didn’t hold a trading license and was operating illegally.
“We couldn’t freeze Nashaat’s membership from the chamber as we did with Mohamed Bayoumy, the owner of Al Forsan, another car store, who perpetrated the same scheme two years ago, because Nashaat didn’t have a membership. But we had an urgent meeting and we proposed a list of future suggestions to Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the minister of trade and industry, Solyman told The Daily Star Egypt.
Solyman asserted that future recommendations aim at protecting consumers from any scamming operations. He said they would be implemented once they received official approval from the minister.
“The owner of the store should never get money from the public. We suggested that he/she will get an approval from Egyptian Chambers of Commerce to open an account in a bank to receive all deposits of customers. The Egyptian Chambers of Commerce will give instructions to the bank not to give the owner the deposits before a verified document of the cars delivery, said Solyman.
He added, in order to assure the credibility of car stores, there will be official signs posted at the entrances of each car store stating the membership of the store in the Egyptian General Section of Car Traders at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, and its license to operate a dealership.
He said the chamber will also register the status of the store in the Office of Real Estate Proclamation and Notarisation.
“We will document if the store is rented or owned, so that we don’t find owners renting stores and then fleeing the country, said Solyman.
He added: “We will also organize intense awareness campaigns in the media for the public and other car stores about the importance of having a membership in the Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce to ensure legitimate trade.