The ACEF Republic of Kenya
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[16th February 2021]
WARNING ON MOTOR VEHICLE FRAUDSTER JAPAN PARTNER INC
The ACEF has recently been inundated by requests from many Kenyans seeking assistance to recover monies allegedly paid to Japan partner Inc, an unscrupulous Japanese Company for the purchase of second hand Motor vehicles. In trying to assist the unfortunate victims, the Mission has uncovered the following:
While Japanese car dealers generally used to be known as trust worthy and reliable this may no longer be true. Unfortunately, the used car export business in Japan has been invaded by some fraudsters.
The global economic difficulties and cut- throat competition in the industry have translated into low profitability and an increase in illegal exports. These include the sale of stolen vehicles, illegally rebuilt units or even re-modeled vehicles. The tendency thrives on the known reputation for excellent quality and reasonable prices associated with Japanese used motor vehicles.
Kenya is clearly amongst the targeted and lucrative markets for unscrupulous internet- based motor vehicle fraudsters. This may be informed by the size of the Market, the 8-year Rule, and the demand by citizens for cheaper cars. Dishonest individuals have exploited the internet marketing & advertising model to lure un-suspecting customers from Kenya including senior government officials.
Unfortunately, most victims have in the past suffered silently and this lack of publicity has served the fraudsters very well. They are assured of another opportunity to defraud one victim after another without the fear of detection.
In trying to track down the bogus used cars exporters, the Mission has found some interesting trends. Firstly, these heartless vendors become unresponsive immediately they sense danger and will not respond to email enquiries.
Since the transactions are mostly transacted via on-line via internet, the vehicles displayed on their websites are merely Motor vehicle pictures taken from some legitimate yards or the many vehicle auctions. They then use computer graphics to display their banners over the Fake yards or the cars themselves.
According to available records, hundreds of Kenyan might have fallen into this trap annually and something must be done urgently to stop the trend.
Our engagements with Japan Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association (JUMVEA) have proved inadequate to tackle this problem, it is almost impossible to recoup monies the perpetrators due to the legal technicalities here.
The Police and related agencies have been categorical that the Japanese law classifies the offence of defrauding a client in a business deal as a civil offence. This means that the Metropolitan Police has no powers of arrest or prosecution for such offences. Such litigation is left to hired professional lawyers which makes it difficult and too expensive for Kenyans to get back there money once paid to Japan partner Ltd.
In view of the above, it's anybody's guess how many Kenyans can afford to travel to Japan and to hire a lawyer to pursue USD 10,000. Even if the lawyer is hired, what are the chances that the offenders can be found when the only address available on the websites ends up being a public car park, a garden or an empty space?
In view of the above this mission recommends the following:
Potential vehicle importers should be extremely cautious before ordering a Motor vehicle from Japan partner Inc.
All importers should be weary of super bargains or unusually cheap vehicles offered by the company- for the sweeter the deal the stronger the pain.
It does not help whether this company is registered with JUMVEA. Members of the Japan Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association (JUMVEA) maybe legally registered & licenced Used Car Dealers, vetted for legality and credibility, but japan partner Inc. is has not shown commitment to the Associations values.
In case of any further advice or enquiries, kindly feel free to contact us at *******@gmail.com