Rogue trader sentenced following investigation into bogus meet-and-greet parking service from Gatwick Airport

A ROGUE trader who ran a bogus meet-and-greet car service from Gatwick Airport has been sentenced following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 9:36 am
A man has been sentenced following an investigation into a bogus Gatwick Airport parking service.
A man has been sentenced following an investigation into a bogus Gatwick Airport parking service.

Muhammad Muneeb Amjad, 33, of Pycroft Way in London, was the director of Park Direct Gatwick Ltd which misled customers who believed their cars were parked securely while they holidayed.

The cars were left in an open field, with many vehicles left unlocked.

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At least one of the vehicles was damaged and dashcam footage proved it had been driven around.

On Friday, Amjad appeared at Lewes Crown Court where he was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and told to complete a 10-day rehabilitation course and undertake 60 hours of unpaid work.

The rogue trader was ordered to pay compensation to seven victims totalling £1,141 and costs of £1,200.

Amjad pleaded guilty to engaging in misleading commercial practices at an earlier court hearing.

In July 2019, West Sussex Trading Standards received a tip-off that the company was using a field in Ifield, Crawley, to park the vehicles of customers who were flying from nearby Gatwick Airport.

The company and director were already known to the service having previously been warned about the same conduct.

Officers carried out an unannounced inspection on July 30, 2019, and found that there were around 200-300 vehicles parked closely together, with some almost touching, and many of the vehicles were unlocked.

The details of each vehicle were reported and letters were sent to the registered owners, who confirmed they had used Park Direct Gatwick Ltd and believed their cars were parked securely in a locked car park with CCTV.

Trading standards also received a separate complaint from a customer whose car had been damaged whilst in the care of Park Direct Gatwick Ltd.

Park Direct Gatwick Ltd refused to repair or pay for the damages.

The customer provided dashcam footage to the investigation which showed her car being driven around eight days before she was due to pick it up.

The dashcam footage is embedded in this article.

The judge told Amjad to pay the victim of the damaged vehicle £566 in compensation as part of his sentence.

Park Direct Gatwick Ltd went into liquidation, however, Amjad was prosecuted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for engaging in misleading commercial practices.

Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: ‘Despite being previously warned about this activity, Mr Amjad’s company continued to mislead passengers into believing their vehicles were secure, when in fact they were left unlocked in a field that anyone could access.

‘I would like to thank the customers for coming forward and helping to bring him to justice.’

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support Fire and Rescue, added: ‘The outcome of this investigation should serve as a stark warning to all dishonest traders: we will find out what you are up to and we will take action against you.’

If you think you have been a victim of unfair trading practice, you should contact Trading Standards or Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.