November 1, 2013

Hairdresser Caroline Jones (no relation) thought she’d scooped quite a bargain when she traded her Honda $2,000 for a Toyota Silesia with just 48,431 miles on the clock for an unbeatable cash trade-in price of just £2k.

Friendly dealer Adil Hussain (no relation) delivered the Silesia to her door, handing over the accompanying paper work with a flourish before speeding off in Caroline’s Honda with a cheery wave.

Climbing in behind the wheel of her new purchase, Caroline turned the key in the ignition and… nothing. “The car,” Caroline recalled in conversation with reporters from the Daily Mail, “would not start.”

Taking a closer look at the paperwork supplied by Adil, she noticed something a little peculiar: a “sticker covering the front” which said Toyota Diesel. “Everything clicked,” Caroline recollected vividly, “I realised he had given me the service history book from another car.”

She tried to call Adil, who was still in view at this point, heading rapidly away from Caroline’s property, but mysteriously he appeared to have switched off his phone. Further inquiries revealed that the Toyota’s gearbox was “completely shot”, the true mileage was over 100,000 miles and one of the rear wheels was held on by only a single rusty bolt.

Thanks to meticulous sting operations such as that described above, ghostdealer Adil, freshly sentenced to three years in the slammer and ordered to pay back over £300,000 to his victims, is believed to have gotten away with more than £100,000 by the ingenious expedient of turning back the odour-meters of more than 70 used cars to reel in over 6,000,000 miles of tarmac travelled, whilst cunningly forging service history documents to match his new slimline mileage figures.

If Caroline’s suspicions hadn’t been aroused by that whole car-not-starting thing, he might be out there still spiriting away the miles. Scary thought, that!

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