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German Car Scrap Scheme 'abused'

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8188267.stm

Up to 50,000 cars meant to be scrapped under a German scrappage scheme have been illegally sold abroad instead, the country's police union says.

Lax controls, criminal gangs and a poor scrap metal market have been blamed for the cars being transported for sale in Africa and eastern Europe.

The government has launched an inquiry into the alleged abuse.

Under the scheme, drivers receive 2,500 euros ($3,600; £2,150) if they scrap their old car and buy a new one.

Flood of applicants

Germany's criminal police union, the BDK, says the abuse affects up to 10% of cars that should have been scrapped.

Police say they recently found a container in the port of Hamburg which was crammed with more than 40 old cars bound for Africa.

According to police, the owners had already received the government subsidy under the scrappage scheme, but instead of being destroyed the cars ended up in the hands of criminal gangs who sold them on.

This is not an isolated case and police say a number of factors are to blame.

Thanks to the global downturn the scrap metal market has crashed, so many scrapyard dealers are sitting on a mountain of old cars they need to get rid of.

There are lax controls and criminal gangs are becoming more savvy.

Scrapping perfectly good cars was insane, what the govt should have done is what the criminal gangs are doing and ship the cars off to Eastern Europe and Africa.

At least most of the money for funding the scheme would be recovered.

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If these cars can be sold and used elsewhere in the world isn't that better environmentally? Look at all the mobile phone recycling companies, that buy second hand phones and resell them in africa and around the world, if we are forced to recycle everything, why not cars? It sounds like these are good cars, if someone thinks they can make money if they PAY to ship them to a different country! Why throw away perfectly good cars!?! Why the waste?

Edited by moosetea

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In Germany, the 'punter' takes the car to a scrapyard and gets the scrap certificate, ripe for abuse. Over here, the dealer sorts it out for you so any similar practices here are less likely.

If the Western govts doing this then sent all these cars to to the third world, there would be some very irate importers / exporters about with less scruples about action against certain govt ministers!

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Isn't this much more sensible than scrapping?

Agreed, indeed a "victory for capitalism", and probably a winner in the war against waste.

Why should Africans be expected to pay inflated prices for vehicles which have not been made yet,

when perfectly good used vehicles are available now? :blink:

But it's labelled as "criminal".....

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This has been going on for years its a business cars that have no MOT or have been in a light accident

Old cars that have been traded in for a new car but are still capable of been driven

In France these cars are stockpiled at the Port de Marseille then they are sent to Africa Sénegal Cote D' Ivoire

The germans have been doing this for years nothing new

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Many third world countries drive on the left though, especially in Africa and the Indian sub-continent. A factor of our Imperial past I expect, so wouldn't the cars from the U.K. be even more useful?

Granted, in some of these countries, the rules of the road are a bit vague and which side of the road you drive on seems to be optional.

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A victory for capitalism! You can't repress the free market spirit! Viva la black market!

+1 on that.

A stark demonstration of the government seeking to destroy wealth in the pursuit of the creation of money and the free market trying to create / distribute wealth.

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